Education

Global Works Team 3: July 2021

26-29th July 2021: Thanks to this intrepid team of teens who worked with 3t clearing the overgrowth on our main drive from the gate, and also work in the nursery. This team spent three nights with us. Thanks to Magha Garcia and Milly Santiago for the cuisine that kept the team well fed.

Big thanks also to Global Works Trip Leader, Eric Uslander, and to the staff who stayed with us: Lindsey Storm, Talia Santos, and James Palma Harrera.

Global Works provides service trips for teens and school travel programs with community service, cultural exchange, language immersion, and adventure. They make sure that teens have an unforgettable experience abroad, make friends for a lifetime, have lessons in leadership, and make impactful change!
For more on their programs: https://www.globalworkstravel.com/

We have been collaborating with Global Works since 2003, and we really value the long-term relationship with staff and the teens who return as young aduts to continue a relationship with our project.

Global Works Team 2: July 2021

25th July 2021: This team of 25 teenagers and three staff spent a day at Las Casas de la Selva helping with cement-work on our library roof, led by Andrés Rúa, and clearing the homestead of overgrowth with 3t, particularly behind the workshop, where the vines and bamboo had really become wild. Many hands make light work, and this team worked hard all day in rainy weather. Thank you!!! Thanks to Magha for the delicious cuisine.

Big thanks also to Global Works Trip Leader, Eric Uslander, and to the awesome staff: Jorge Flores, Fabricio Ochoa Serrano, Katie Kelly, and Penelope Benscome.

Global Works provides service trips for teens and school travel programs with community service, cultural exchange, language immersion, and adventure. They make sure that teens have an unforgettable experience abroad, make friends for a lifetime, have lessons in leadership, and make impactful change!
For more on their programs: https://www.globalworkstravel.com/

We have been collaborating with Global Works since 2003, and we really value the long-term relationship with staff and the teens who return as young aduts to continue a relationship with our project.

VisitRico

In July 2020, Thrity and Andrés collaborated with Visit Rico to create the first public event at the project since the Covid-19 Lockdown that started in March 2020 at Las Casas de la Selva. The event was a Farm-to-Table dining experience that engaged with local producers, and chef Natalia Lucia delighted everyone with her cuisine.

VisitRico is a non-profit organization, directed by Camille Collazo, dedicated to the development of agriculture in Puerto Rico through education, health, and food security through the organic, community, and urban agriculture. They offer educational services through seminars and workshops for farmers in management, administrative, and technical matters. They advocate for the protection and conservation of the natural resources of Puerto Rico, and their vision is to be the engine of the agricultural economy.

Thanks to Raymesh Cintron (filmmaker), Camille Collazo, and VisitRico.

Chainsaw Training Workshop at Las Casas de la Selva

Hurricane Maria in 2017 killed many of the Pine trees (Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis, known as Caribbean Pitch Pine or Honduras Pine) on the 600m elevation ridge-tops of Las Casas, and they are dead but standing.

In March 2020, the team from Puerto Rico Hardwoods closed the wood-yard in Caguas and spent the day bringing down standing dead Caribbean pine trees. This wood was milled into 2x4s for a special project. This was a great opportunity for training the crew in directional felling, using ropes, and learning about harvesting trees, and all the safety procedures. The crew were trained by, led by Andrés Rúa, and Rafael Pérez.

Pinus caribaea was planted at Las Casas de la Selva in the early 80s, favored by the PR Department of Natural Resources, and chosen for its fast growth, and ability to grow on virtually all soil types. The soil on the ridges are clay and the land was heavily grazed for many years. Now 35 years later, in 2020, we can see that the trees did grow fast and well, but unfortunately there would never be a market for the wood in Puerto Rico. 3t and Andrés have been trying for many years to create a market for the pine, have used it on several projects, but its sale has been limited.

About this pine: Pinus caribaea var. hondurensis was introduced into Puerto Rico in 1959, and was introduced intentionally to be used for erosion control, and as windbreaks. The heartwood is a golden yellow to brown, with highly defined straight grain, and a light yellow sapwood. Straight resinous canals streak the wood. The wood exudes a large amount of resin, making it less suitable for joinery and flooring, and limiting its value as a timber. Nevertheless, it is used for a wide range of purposes, including construction, light flooring, joinery, inexpensive furniture, boxes, pallets, turnery, toys and, has in other countries been used after treatment with preservatives, for poles, posts, and railway sleepers.

Group pic on logs: Back, L-R: Ariza Torres, Omar Garcia, Abraham A. Sanchez Cuprill,
Front, L-R: Rafael Pérez Antonetti, 3t Vakil, and Xavier Arroyo.

Dog Training Team at Las Casas de la Selva

Debbie Jacobs has been organizing travel adventures for nearly three decades, including leading group adventures to Puerto Rico. She has been bringing various groups to Las Casas de la Selva since the 90s.

She has always been foremost a dog trainer, and finally about four years ago realized her dream of organizing dog-training groups to visit Puerto Rico. She is excited to be combining her passion for traveling and sharing unique environments with people, along with her enthusiasm for helping pet owners discover the most effective and humane ways to communicate with their dogs. The team also travels to animal sanctuaries and shelters, where they train the staff and animals, helping with the stray dog situation that is ongoing.

Part of Debbie’s ten-day Puerto Rico trips includes several days at Las Casas. During the day, she offers the latest animal training techniques and shares them with her team. Getting people to visit Las Casas is always a good thing, and gives us the chance to spread the word about the work we do in sustainable forestry. We also invite our friends who have dogs that need training. It is actually the case that the humans need as much training as the animals! By showing people how to have a positive and trusting relationship with their pets, they support dogs in doing what they can do so well – become our best friends and treasured members of our families. Having our own dogs makes Las Casas a favorite place for Debbie’s team, and Negralora, Nogal, and Yagrumo get to learn best behaviors as a result of this positive reinforcement training. Kailash, our 15 year old cat is also trained in various ways, (yes, you can teach an old cat new tricks!), as well as some of the chickens!

Debbie’s trip is a perfect combination of community service, dog training skills, education and practice, and flat-out fun. Delicious meals were cooked by 3t and a up-lifting salsa dance class by Yari Soler.

Professionals in the industry she has trained with include Jean Donaldson (https://www.academyfordogtrainers.com/), and Bob Bailey. Debbie is also currently studying to become a Registered Behavior Technician, an international certification that indicates she is qualified to work with Board Certified Behavior Analysts in implementing behavior modification plans with people.

Debbie Jacobs, CPDT-KA, CAP2, is the author of ‘A Guide To Living With & Training A Fearful Dog’ and ‘Does My Dog Need Prozac?’

Video on Dog Trainers’ Collaborative Las Casas de la Selva Puerto Rico https://youtu.be/RbsuZrLxIBQ

More info on the dog training: https://fearfuldogs.com/

Planting Vetiver – July 2017

Planting Vetiver for erosion control and bank stabilization.

Chrysopogon zizanioides, is commonly known as vetiver.

Vetiver grass has a special root system that works above and below ground, to ensure steep soil stabilization and erosion control. Vetiver’s roots grow downward, 2 metres (7 ft) to 4 metres (13 ft) in depth, deeper than some tree roots. The sturdy, hard stems create hedges, which act to protect the topsoil, dissipate wind and water energy, slow down water flow, trap sediments, and control water runoff. There are at least 11 species of vetiver and lots of cultigens and cultivars. There is one species, Chrysopogon zizanioides, that is sterile, so there is no concern about it being invasive.

This current planting project aims to protect our newly graded road, by stabilizing the banks.

Thanks to Alberto Rodriguez for the Vetiver.

And gratitude to Summer Powers, who brought her two friends, Serena Tsui and Katherine Tsui to volunteer as well, for ten days. (Summer first volunteered here in 2015 with a Globalworks Teen Team, lead by Scott Page). We love returners. Thank you ladies!

Please see this page for info about volunteering at Las Casas de la Selva, Patillas, Puerto Rico. We always appreciate the power of people who love our biosphere.

July 2017

University Students from UPR – We need you!

SOLO PARA ESTUDIANTES DE LA UNIVERSIDAD DE PUERTO RICO.

Comenzando el lunes 27 marzo en la mañana.

Durante los días del Paro Universitario te invitamos a que te unas como voluntarix al equipo de Las Casas de la Selva en Patillas, un proyecto de silvicultura sostenible, taller de trabajos en madera y agricultura orgánica. Aprenderás destrezas de trabajos en madera, un básico de manejo forestal y conocerás de los estudios científicos que se han llevado a cabo en nuestro proyecto entre otras cosas. El costo por estudiante es de $8.00 por día, esto incluye todas las comidas, dormitorio (bunkhouse) y duchas con agua caliente, además de vivir por unos días en uno de los lugares más hermosos de Puerto Rico, el área del Bosque de Carite, donde está localizado el proyecto.

Requisitos: Buscamos participaantes Listxs, Dispuestxs y Capaces, motivadxs, con actitud positiva y compromiso.

Solo 20 espacios disponibles. Por favor enviar un párrafo acerca de ti y porque te gustaría participar.

Correo electrónico: 3t@eyeontherainforest.org.
Puedes visitar nuestra página de internet www.eyeontherainforest.org para que conozcas más de nosotros y de nuestro proyecto.

Muchas gracias, te esperamos.

***********************************

ONLY FOR STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PUERTO RICO.

Starts Monday 27th March 2017 in the morning.

During the days of the University strike we invite you to join as a volunteer of Las Casas de la Selva’s Team in Patillas, a sustainable forestry project, woodworking workshop and organic agricultural area. You will learn woodworking skills and the basics of forest management among other things. The cost per student is $8.00 per day. This includes all meals, bunkhouse accommodation, and showers with hot water. You will be living for a few days in one of the most beautiful places in Puerto Rico- the Carite forest area, where the project is located.

Requirements: All we ask is for Ready, Willing, and Able participants who are motivated, with a positive attitude and commitment.

Only 20 spaces available.
Please send a paragraph about yourself and why you would like to participate with us.
Email to: 3t@eyeontherainforest.org.
You can visit our website www.eyeontherainforest.org for more about us and our project.
Thank you, we look forward to seeing you here.

3t Vakil and Andres Rua

Penn State University, York, March 2017

Click here for a whole bunch of fun images, with an international body of students from Penn State, York, who came through Globalworks to spend a few days helping in a grand overhaul of our workshop and wood storage. All these great images are by Penn State York chaperone, Judith Owen, and Globalworks Team Leader, Ava Murphey. Thank you all for a really wonderful time.

Freddy Dempster (Chief Engineer of Biosphere 2) joined us at Las Casas de la Selva during this period as well and made an inspiring Biosphere 2 presentation. Thank you to Magha Garcia for the fine food, Andrés Rúa, Ricardo Valle, for crew leadership and to Alfredo Lopez for being the random element help.

Google Album: https://goo.gl/photos/pHjr61hJ2gwm6XgR9

Puerto Rico needs foresters, more than ever.

Estos son estudiantes de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Mayagüez, participando en el curso de Silvicultura AGRO4010 del Departamento de Ciencias Agro-ambientales. Pasamos el dia en plantaciones de Caoba y Majó bajo la lluvia torrencial e intensas discusiones que tuvimos en el campo. Gracias al Prof. Oscar J. Abelleira Martínez, por organizar este pasadia para los estudiantes quien estuvo presente aún cuando su esposa se encontraba en el hospital a punto de tener su bebe! Jennifer M. Rivera San Antonio, Asistente del Profesor y Estudiante graduada del Programa de Horticultura de UPRM dirigió el grupo.

La pasamos super bien con todos ustedes. These are students from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, participating in the Silviculture AGRO4010 course from the Department of Agro-environmental Sciences. The day was spent in the plantations of mahogany and mahoe, and through torrential rain, intense discussions kept us warm in the field. Thanks to Professor Oscar J. Abelleira Martínez, for organizing this field trip, to benefit his students, even as his wife was in hospital ready to deliver a baby! Oscar’s assistant Jennifer M. Rivera San Antonio, Graduate Student in the Horticulture Program at UPRM led the team. We had a great time with you all. Please keep forestry high in your choice of future studies. Puerto Rico needs foresters, more than ever.

Images by 3t Oct 2016
Translation by Magha Garcia

Contacto Verde – Escuela Elemental Marín Bajo, Patillas, 28 October 2016

We were delighted to receive 1st and 2nd Graders (6-8 years) from Escuela Elemental Marín Bajo in Patillas who came for a few hours to get into the wonderful forest of Las Casas de la Selva! As part of the new educational initiative in Puerto Rico Programa Contacto Verde, these students had an informative and inspiring time with Andrés, in the forest, and around the Las Casas de la Selva Homestead. We also welcomed Angelica Mercado and the film crew of Puertorriqueñisimo team, who interviewed Andrés and Ruth Reyes Ramos, (below right), and filmed the students in the forest.

Contacto Verde is a program created by the Department of Education and the Department of Natural Resources to facilitate the participation of students at all levels to visit and engage with places of ecological value in Puerto Rico; to encourage experiences with nature, as a complement to environmental education and as a tool to promote the strengthening of cognitive skills and student learning.

La Ley Núm. 36 de 23 de marzo de 2015 crea el programa de gestión ambiental Contacto Verde, adscrito al Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico y a ser desarrollado en coordinación con el Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales. Esta ley también ordena crear un comité de coordinación y establecer sus funciones, facultades y deberes con el propósito de garantizar la participación de los estudiantes de todos los niveles del sistema educativo en talleres y actividades de visitas a lugares de valor ecológico en Puerto Rico, para fomentar las experiencias de contacto con la naturaleza como complemento para las gestiones de educación ambiental y como herramienta para propender al fortalecimiento de las destrezas cognoscitivas y de aprendizaje del estudiantado. El programa también busca fomentar la participación familiar en actividades ambientales, desarrollar la sensibilidad ambiental y el desarrollo integral de nuestros niños y jóvenes.

Images by 3t Vakil and Reinaldo Rivera, 2016

UPR (University of Puerto Rico) Elementary School, 14 October 2016

This field trip was organized by Professors Lizzette M. Velazquez, and Linda Clark, as part of their “Al rescate del paisaje forestal de la UPR” (Rescuing the forest landscape of UPR), and included future elementary school teachers in training. We went through the forest trails of Las Casas de la Selva to see the origin of the Sonadora River, and whilst getting there, we talked about trees, animals, soil, the importance of forests, and marveled at the biodiversity all around us.

Back at the homestead, we looked at compost piles at different stages of composting, learnt about humanure composting toilets, (and used them), and smelt fresh humanure compost from a seasoned pile in 3t’s hand! We talked about attitudes towards dirt, or is it soil? and the art of making soil, to grow food. Later, a talk in the wood-shop, a look at raw lumber, and our hand-made wood products, all the while, Negralora, the famous black dog, loving the attention.

Thank you to Lizzette and Linda, and the teachers in training, who helped to manage the group.
Thanks also to Professor Fernando Silva Caraballo, el Director del Instituto de Ciencias para la Conservación de Puerto Rico (INCICO), for early discussions in organizing this field trip, as part of a continuing education in forest appreciation and active management.


Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Río Piedras Facultad de Educación (DPE y EEUPR) en colaboración con la Oficina de Rectoría e InCiCo
Proyecto:
¡Al rescate del paisaje forestal del cuadrángulo del Recinto de Río Piedras de la Universidad de PR!

Conceptuado y desarrollado por: Dra. Lizzette M. Velázquez Rivera, Dra. Linda Clark Mora, el Dr. Eric I. Figueroa Gonzalez bajo el asesoramiento del Dr. Fernando Silva Caraballo; agosto a diciembre de 2016
Problema y participantes:
Entre los recursos naturales del Recinto de Río Piedras de la UPR se destaca la diversidad de flora que posee. Esta flora sirve de escenario en el cual ocurren innumerables interacciones que enriquecen la vida en este ecosistema urbano. Sin embargo, ante el paso del tiempo y el aumento de la demanda de uso de los terrenos del Recinto para diversos propósitos propios del urbanismo, su presencia también acarrea retos. Entre ellos se destacan la existencia de árboles viejos y enfermos que pueden presentar peligro y el impacto negativo de éstos árboles en las edificaciones.

No es cuestionado el valor estético, ecológico, histórico y científico; entre otros, que proporciona este paisaje forestal a este importante centro universitario de PR. Sin embargo, diversos sectores de la comunidad universitaria tienen diferentes perspectivas de cómo manejar apropiadamente estos árboles. Todos reconocen su importancia, pero en ocasiones sus medidas de acción se contraponen.

Oficina de la Rectoría de la UPR-RP tiene interés especial en promover una mayor consciencia en la comunidad universitaria sobre la presencia y la relevancia de la contribución que aportan los árboles al recinto. Además, está promoviendo una política que permita un mejor manejo de los mismos. Para ello, cuanta con la colaboración del Instituto de Ciencias para la Conservación de Puerto Rico (InCiCo) representado por el Sr. Fernando Silva Caraballo. Silva Caraballo integra a su equipo de trabajo al Dr. Edgardo González y juntos desarrollan la “Iniciativa forestal en el Recinto de Rio Piedras: para el rescate de la memoria histórica de su paisaje forestal y alternativas de estudio, evaluación y manejo de sus árboles y arboledas”.
Una de las instancias específicas que adopta esta iniciativa del Rector tuvo que ver con la respuesta a los requerimientos de sustitución y poda de varios árboles en las dos Escuelas Laboratorio de la UPR-RP como parte de un plan de mejoras a la infraestructura de ambos planteles escolares. Mediante una estrategia participativa diseñada y facilitada por Fernando Silva, se generó un proceso de diálogo, investigación y acción coordinada entre los diversos sectores y actores de la comunidad universitaria y escolar que permitió la integración de las APM, directores de ambas escuelas y una amplia participación de los estudiantes. El resultado produjo un informe de recomendaciones que fueron aprobadas por la Oficna de Rectoría y adaptadas al plan de sustitución y poda que fue propuesto originalmente.

Entre los resultados y lecciones aprendidas de este proceso surgen nuevas oportunidades de integración académica para la investigación y estudio de otros árboles en el Recinto.

Estudiantes de la Facultad de Educación son invitados a colaborar iniciativa forestal de la Oficina de la Rectoría de la UPR-RP en colaboración con InCiCo. Específicamente, futuros maestros del nivel elemental de los cursos que ofrece la Dra. Lizzette M. Velázquez Rivera y estudiantes de 6to grado, de la clase de ciencias de la Dra. Linda Clark Mora en la EEUPR, son invitados a participar del Proyecto ¡Al rescate del paisaje forestal del cuadrángulo del Recinto de la UPR-RP! Esto con el fin de aportar a la comunidad universitaria y escolar de PR, nuevo conocimiento sobre estos árboles. A su vez, presentar recomendaciones a Rectoría que permitan integrar la participación activa de los diferentes sectores y actores responsables e interesados en conservar el valor de los árboles del cuadrángulo del Recinto de Río Piedras.

Como parte de del proceso de aprendizaje de los futuros maestros de ciencias participantes, estos a su vez formaran parte del Proyecto para fomentar la integración de STEM en el currículo del Área de Ciencias de la Facultad de Educación de la UPR-RP, desarrollado por: Dra. Gladys Dávila Hernández, Dra. Lizzette M. Velázquez Rivera y Srta. Gilemi Sepúlveda Cuadrado. (1)Ver detales de este al concluir la descripción del Proyecto ¡Al Rescate!

Several links at the bottom of this page expand the topic for discussion.
Please contact 3t Vakil to see how you can bring your group to Las Casas de la Selva to make contact with the green.

Volunteer at Las Casas de la Selva

Se avecinan cambios forestales en la Escuela Elemental y Secundaria de la UPR

Invierten $3 millones en escuelas laboratorios de la UPR en Río Piedras

Millones para mejoras a las escuelas laboratorios de la UPRRP

Análisis del paisaje forestal en Puerto Rico

Author: 3t Vakil, October 2016

Contacto Verde – Tomas Vera Ayala School, 12 October 2016

We were delighted to receive 4th and 5th Graders (10-12 years) from Tomas Vera Ayala Elementary School in Patillas who came for a few hours to get a hit of the wonderful forest of Las Casas de la Selva!

As part of the new educational initiative in Puerto Rico Programa Contacto Verde, these students had a great time with Andrés in the forest, and around the Las Casas de la Selva Homestead. Thanks to Reinaldo Rivera Ortiz, Director of Citizen Help of Patillas, and the staff of the school for their enthusiastic collaboration.

Contacto Verde is a program created by the Department of Education and the Department of Natural Resources to facilitate the participation of students at all levels to visit and engage with places of ecological value in Puerto Rico; to encourage experiences with nature, as a complement to environmental education and as a tool to promote the strengthening of cognitive skills and student learning.

La Ley Núm. 36 de 23 de marzo de 2015 crea el programa de gestión ambiental Contacto Verde, adscrito al Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico y a ser desarrollado en coordinación con el Departamento de Recursos Naturales y Ambientales. Esta ley también ordena crear un comité de coordinación y establecer sus funciones, facultades y deberes con el propósito de garantizar la participación de los estudiantes de todos los niveles del sistema educativo en talleres y actividades de visitas a lugares de valor ecológico en Puerto Rico, para fomentar las experiencias de contacto con la naturaleza como complemento para las gestiones de educación ambiental y como herramienta para propender al fortalecimiento de las destrezas cognoscitivas y de aprendizaje del estudiantado. El programa también busca fomentar la participación familiar en actividades ambientales, desarrollar la sensibilidad ambiental y el desarrollo integral de nuestros niños y jóvenes.

Images by 3t Vakil, and Group Pic by William Davidowski. 12th October 2016
Logo by DRNATAGS: EDUCATION,KIDS

San Francisco Day School with Globalworks, May 2016!

This May another 60 students from San Francisco Day school came to Puerto Rico along with their staff, and on a Globalworks organized trip, they stayed all over the island, spending valuable time at Las Casas de la Selva, (20 at a time) during some torrential rainy weather, helping us with the mixing and pouring of a a new cement floor. Thanks to Globalworks staff, Ari W, Luis Bertolo, and PR Globalworks Director, Scott Page. The work was led by Andrés Rúa, and Norman Greenhawk. Thanks to Ricardo Valles, Alex Figueroa and Joel Bernier, for help with all the work. Yara Solis gave three full-on Salsa Dance classes, and Magha Garcia provided some of the finest Puerto Rican food on the island! Thanks to 3t Vakil and Irving Rappaport for images.

Thank you everyone, for all the great energy, even through some of the worst weather we have had this year!

Pepperdine, App State, Fountain Valley: Volunteer Groups March 2016

These intrepid students from Fountain Valley High School, Colorado Springs spent 5 days of hard labor on projects ranging from nursery work and trail-blazing with 3t, to roadwork with Andres, and woodworking with Ricardo and Alex. This is the third year of FVS students volunteering at Las Casas de la Selva. We are honored to have worked alongside you all. Welcome back anytime! Thanks to Deb and Brett, awesome staff who accompanied the students. Also huge thanks to Magha Garcia for the delicious food. Check back in the coming weeks for more pix.

This was our 2016 Appalachian State University Team of hardworking volunteers on their Alternative Service Experience during Spring Break. We all worked on a multitude of tasks at Las Casas de la Selva, including organization of the sheds and workshop, deconstruction of an old roof, and ditch-digging for a new floor. AS Staff member, Mona helped in the library with cleaning abd book maintenance and care. We are thrilled every year to receive students from App State and every year just gets better. Abbie (her second year at Las Casas de la Selva) and Lucas – hats off to you for great team leadership. We thank you all for your labors, along with the fine company. See you soon again. Thanks also to Lizbeth Velez for participation with the groups, helping in all aspects of management.
Great team from Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA. This team built the two extra showers, that we need as some of our groups in the year are over 15 people. The year’s compost pile was emptied and a new one started. Thank you Carsen and Kris for leading the team and thank you all for such tremendous company and hard work. This team lived in a mountain cloud for the most part of their time here. It rained a lot!

Walk-Talk-Tour 31st January 2016

We will always share news of a Walk-Talk Tour. Join our email list to stay informed of this and other events at Las Casas de la Selva.

WALK-TALK-TOUR -This tour will be in English.
9.30am-2.00pm, Sunday 31st January, 2016.
Cost: $20.00 per head includes lunch. (Children under 10 years free.)

Where: In the homestead, forest, and woodshop facilities of Sustainable Forestry Project,
Las Casas de la Selva, Patillas, Puerto Rico. Disabled facilities very limited.

Clothing: Please wear suitable shoes or boots for a forest walk. Open-toed sandals, or flip flops are not suitable at all on uneven paths and potentially muddy trails. Wear long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt. We reserve the right to refuse entry to the forest to anyone unsuitably dressed.

Schedule:
9.30am: Coffee and Cake, orientation
Digital presentation of the history of Las Casas de la Selva and ongoing work, and introduction to Puerto Rico Hardwoods.
11.00am: Guided Forest walk to see plantations, identify trees, understand the history of land-use, & current projects, including planting of endangered tree species.
12.30pm: Gourmet lunch with organic salad, fruit juices, tea and coffee.
1.00pm: Tour of the wood workshop, drying sheds, & projects in progress.
An opportunity to buy or order wood, or beautiful hardwood products seen at our homestead.
2.00pm: Group Photo and Finish.

BOOK NOW:
Please send an email with the following info to 3t at: wanderwoman3t@gmail.com
• How many people?
• Dietary restrictions (meat/veg) or allergies if any.
Please ask for directions if needed.

See you here! 3t and Andres
Some of the products that will be available.

Fiesta del Arbol November 2015

This event was dedicated to forester Dr. Frank Wadsworth, and Andrés presented a plaque to celebrate his 100th birthday.

We had a table to show off some of our latest products, cheese boards, chopping boards, tostoneras, and samples of Puertorican hardwoods.

Students from University of PR – Department of Fine Art

In April this ebullient group of students from the Department of Fine Arts, University of Puerto Rico, arrived on a day trip to find out more about the forest plantations at Las Casas de la Selva, and to see the timber operation; the sawmill, drying shed, and workshop. Everyone was wowed by our wood collection, that we inherited from Jose Mari Mutt, and have been adding to. Eyes opened wide at the beauty of these different and relatively unknown hardwoods that Puerto Rico has. Many discussions ensued about sustainable use of forest resources, especially wood, and later all left smiling, having bought some of our wood to create their latest projects. We look forward to seeing the results soon.

YMCA Salem, MA, Volunteer at Las Casas

In April 2015, we were fortunate enough to receive two teams from the Northshore YMCA in Salem, MA. These teams all got involved with various tasks that ranged from creating a new trail, making a dam, to setting up new tables in our nursery and moving all the saplings from last year’s collections into the nursery. A good clean up of the wood drying shed was also really appreciated. Special thanks to staff, Matt Buchanen, John Brinkmanship, Kat Moser, and AnnMarie Green for the first group, and the second group, Graeme Marcoux, Cat Marcoux and Katie Coleman.

As always a huge thank you to all these volunteers who shared their lives with us in April 2015.

Fountain Valley High School March 2015

Fountain Valley High School from Colorado Springs, in their second annual collaboration with Las Casas de la Selva. This team of enthusiastic teenagers worked on the ethnobotanical trail, helped grade the main drive, helped in the wood workshop, learnt how to use a lathe with Andres Rua, and turn wood, had a Puertorrican cooking class with Magha Garcia Medina, enjoyed a salsa dance class with Yara, and after an afternoon at the beach, Villa Pesqueras in Patillas, and a wonderful dinner at Habitarte, Route PR 15, with Wanda and Riccardo. It was a pleasure to get to know you all.