Tag: education

Vamonos Tours Group: July 2021

15-18th July 2021

Vamonos Tours have been collaborating with us for several years now and bringing groups of people from all over the world to stay for a while in the rainforest, volunteering on many fun tasks.

This team from Massachusetts stayed for three nights and helped with trails, compost management, nursery cleaning and re-organizing, putting in new weedcloth and spreading gravel on the ground. An incredible time was had by all, and thanks to Magha Garcia for the delicious, nutritious food!

If you are looking to bring a group to Puerto Rico, don’t hesistate to get in touch with Bernardo or Jorge at Vamonos.
https://www.vamonostours.com/about-us/

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.

No Escape: The Reality of Climate Change Here & Now, Oct 2019

Landmark meeting on the impacts of climate change, and the urgent need for action

On October 30, 2019, at the Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation (FLMM), a symposium brought together prominent scientists, environmental managers, educators and citizens concerned about the best way to adapt to the reality of climate change. The symposium entitled “No Escape: The reality of climate change here and now” featured 20 presentations, one 1-hour expert panel discussion, and 13 exhibitors of various topics focused on climate change, including environmental health, agriculture, forestry, management of urban areas, the built environment, socio-economic impacts, resilience, coastal erosion, research in areas such as El Yunque National Forest, climate change awareness education, and risk mitigation processes, among others. The event included international participants, such as Sir Ghillean Prance, former director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the United Kingdom, as well as a large number of prominent speakers from Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the United States. Response to this free public event was remarkable, and seats were fully booked out a week before the event. Over 300 people attended the event throughout the day that lasted from 8am to 6pm. For a full list of presenters, presentation abstracts, and symposium schedule, please consult the conference program, shown below.

Introductions were provided by the symposium’s three organizers: Ms. Thrity J. Vakil, FLS, director of the Institute of Ecotechnics, US, director of Tropic Ventures Sustainable Forestry and Rainforest Enrichment Project, Patillas, PR, and President of Puerto Rico Hardwoods, Mr. Christian Torres Santana, Director of the Parque Doña Inés, and Ms. Cristina Cabrera, an environmental consultant and project manager.

See 3t’s photos of the day!

Morning Session: https://photos.app.goo.gl/dVg2LqeopuqPwbmw9

Lunch: https://photos.app.goo.gl/snMQ8ySQYN26Mpjp7

Panel: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3ogMFWeyvRzzkYNcA

Afternoon Session: https://photos.app.goo.gl/wKtA4amuwqzhKkNU6

FACEBOOK LIVESTREAM Links:

  1. “No Escape: The Reality Of Climate Change Here & Now”
    Intros by Christian Tores Santana, Cristina Cabrera, & Thrity Vakil.
    Speakers 8.40am to 10.40am : Mr. Ernesto Luis Diaz, Dr. Grizelle Gonzalez, Minuette Rodriguez Harrison, Hon. John Clendenin, Ms. Nancy Woodfield Pascoe, Dr. Frank Wadsworth
    https://www.facebook.com/parquedonaines/videos/794825720965381/
  1. “No Escape: the Reality Of Climate Change Here & Now”
    Speakers 11am to 12.30pm: Dr. Chris Nytch, Dr. William Gould, Sir Ghillean Prance.
    https://www.facebook.com/parquedonaines/videos/532064507617292/
  2. “No Escape: The Reality Of Climate Change Here & Now”
    Panel Discussion 1.30 to 2.30pm: Sir Ghillean Prance, Dr. Elvira Cuevas, Mr. Ernesto Diaz,
    Hon. Larry Seilhamer, Fernando Lloveras.
    Speakers 2.30 to 5.30pm: Dr Ariel Lugo, Dr. Katia Avilés-Vázquez, Dr. Pablo Méndez Lázaro, Agro. Christian Torres Santana, Brenda Torres, Dr. Jess K. Zimmerman, Katherine González, Edgardo González, Dr. Fernando Abruña.
    https://www.facebook.com/parquedonaines/videos/779423005825855/
  3. “No Escape: the Reality Of Climate Change Here & Now”
    Speaker 5.30 to 6.00pm: John Englander.
    6.00pm Wrap-ups and Thanks.
    https://www.facebook.com/parquedonaines/videos/1134579966751986/

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to the following individuals that greatly contributed to the development, organization and contributed to the success of this symposium: Karen Babis (Logo design); Zoraida Enid Silva, Carmen Rodríguez, Ernesto Díaz of the DNER (graphic design and printing); Roland Pesch; Sandy Dean; Ashley Cameron Epting; John Allen, Dr. Mark Nelson, Deborah Parrish Snyder, Marie Harding, William Dempster (Institute of Ecothecnics); Amanda Morales; Steve Maldonado, Juan Orengo, Linda Hernández, Ricardo Zeno, Elizabeth Coriano, Julio Quirós, Ana Rocío Díaz, Zuleika Vallenilla, and Lolita López (Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation); Magha García; Pedro Fabeerllé; María Cristina Nieves; Lucilla Fuller Marvel; Tom Marvel; Andrés Rúa; Isabel Colorado and Dr. Frank Wadsworth; Dr. Lilliam Rodríguez Laboy and Aniel Bio (Puerto Rico Department of Education); Dr. Sheila Ward; Melissa Vega Zayas, Yazmin Solla, and the Habitat Program staff (Para La Naturaleza); Eve Holupchinski (USDA Caribbean Climate Hub); María Concepción (Oxfam America); Alberto Mercado (TNC Puerto Rico); Pam Allenstein (American Public Garden Association); Jafet Vélez (USFWS), Dr. Gilberto Guevara, Lupe Vázquez, and Dr. Frances Zenón (PR Science, Technology & Research Trust); Cecilia Cordero Muñoz (FEMA); Dr. Jess Zimmerman (UPR Río Piedras); Karen Marrero (Office of the VP of Senate of PR); and to the Youth Climate Strike Group for their inspiration towards addressing climate change.

Sponsors

Para La Naturaleza, The Nature Conservancy – Puerto Rico, Oxfam America, Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, Puerto Rico Science, Technology & Research Trust, El Verde Field Station, Institute of Tropical Ecosystem Studies, University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, Puerto Rico Hardwoods, and various private donors mentioned above.

Event Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/645263795881749/

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

Earthwatch Teen Team Expedition, June 2016

June was a very wet month, and we hosted an intrepid Earthwatch Teen team, that went way beyond comfort zones during their ten day stay. This Earthwatch Teen Team braved sometimes torrential rains to assist Principal Investigator Norman Greenhawk collecting Chytrid samples along the Ethnobotanical Nature Trail. The teens learnt teamwork rapidly and became skilled at how to set up collection plots, becoming familiar with the use of the compass, measuring tape, and twine. After letting the plots rest for two days, the team returned and conducted leaf-litter surveys, searching the fallen leaves and detritus of the forest floor for frogs and Sphaerodactylus geckos. All captured animals were weighed and measured, and all amphibians were swabbed to test for the presence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), a fungus that can cause the amphibian disease Chytridiomycosis. This collection event is a part of Norman’s ongoing monitoring of Bd at Las Casas de la Selva.
See more about the Chytrid fungus: https://www.amphibiaweb.org/chytrid/chytridiomycosis.html
This team also measured and re-tagged 110 mahoe trees, (Hibiscus elatus), which are part of long-term study plots at Las Casas de la Selva, with Principal Investigator 3t Vakil.

Images by 3t and Chelsea Kyffin, who was the teen team facilitator.

Montessori Schools from Puerto Rico and Boston – March 2016

These 13 and 14 year olds from Montessori schools in PR and US, braved the torrential rains of the Patillas mountain to join us at Las Casas de la Selva for a few days together, helping 3t with
re-potting nearly 200 tree seedlings, and they also learnt some woodworking skills with Ricardo and Alex. Andrés was chef, and provided us with yummy foods and a barbecue. Thank you all.

Instituto Nueva Escuela, Puerto Rico, Staff: L-R: Juan Jose Rodriguez Fernos, Alberto Viera Vargas, and Elsa Román.

INE Students: Erick García, Shaday Ruiz , Darian Cotto, Alleysha Nevárez, Evaliz Arroyo, Zulibeth León, Angélica Rodríguez, Imanol Dererme, Jeshua Guzmán.

Cambridge Montessori, Boston, Staff: Far Right: Joyce Nett and Genoveva Calvo-Rey.

CM Students:Wilson O’Brian, Adon G, Liliana Abramson, Finn Paquette, Gwyneth McLear, Eliza Austin, Mia Bawendi, Derek Hansen, Eve Meyer.

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.

Globalworks teenagers, Treeplanting, May 2015

Globalworks brought the whole of the 8th Grade from San Francisco Day School to Las Casas de la Selva, May 2015.

We hosted three teams consecutively, for three days each. This wonderful bunch of teens planted critically endangered endemic Cornutia obovata trees in the forest.

Thanks to SFDS teacher Chris Corrigan for his tremendous leadership skills, and the enthusiasm he has brought to Las Casas over the last several years on Globalworks expeditions. Thanks to all the wonderful staff and students for the hard-work planting these Cornutia obovata out in the forest, and for the wonderful evenings back at the homestead. We salute you all! Thank you also to Globalworks staff, and to Las Casas volunteers Alfredo Lopez and Helen Galli, for all their help.
All pix by 3t Vakil unless otherwise credited.

See more about this tree-planting project https://eyeontherainforest.org/?p=5462

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.

Earthwatch Team 2 June 2015

Thank you Earthwatchers for your help in herpetological surveys, planting of endangered endemic trees, Cornutia obovata and Styrax portoricensis, and for help in the nursery re-potting seedlings collected from the previous year.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Mark Nelson, 3t Vakil, Norman Greenhawk.

2015 Images by 3t Vakil, Lisa Bennet, and Susannah Garrett.

Northwestern Alternative Spring Break March 2015

This all-ladies team helped out with a whole host of tasks, including the on-going plastering of the new terrace wall, and workshop cleaning, clearing, and management. Along with a salsa dance class, they enjoyed the rivers in the forest of Las Casas de la Selva, and also took a paddle-boarding class at Inches Beach in Patillas, with Omar Garcia. Thank you ladies for all your enthusiastic teamwork, we enjoyed your company immensely.

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.

Appalachian State University ASB March 2015

In their third year of collaboration with Las Casas de la Selva, this App State Team worked hard on maintenance of the main drive, our life-line to the outside. In amongst all this manual labor we ate well, thanks to Magha Garcia Medina, and also visited the Habitarte Project on Route PR 15. Thanks to Wanda and Riccardo for hosting us for an evening. We also took the team to swim and kayak off the spectacular Villa Pesquera, Patillas Beach. Several of the team were lucky to swim with three manatees that frequent this zone. Thank you App State…hope we see you back next year!