Brigada Verde Gaspar Hernandez
Project Launch:Surrounded by picturesque hills, thriving mangroves, palm forests, and the ocean, the large town of Gaspar Hernandez is home to tourist industry professionals, merchants, fishermen, cacao (chocolate) producers and university students. However, many of the region’s natural resources are in peril. The local river is contaminated with trash and chemical by-products. The beach is eroding quickly, evidenced by a decreasing beach and large quantities of exposed root systems. The town itself, though it has regular sanitation service and trash cans throughout, is plagued with unnecessary litter. The youth in the community are active in outdoor sports and activities at the local high school and park, and many were eager to participate in an environmental awareness initiative. This group, led by a motivated youth leader and advised by a Peace Corps Volunteer, formed Brigada Verde, an environmental group that has held a series of educational charlas about ecosystems, deforestation, and pollution. With a $500 grant from World Connect’s Kids to Kids Program, the group ran a summer camp, produced a video to promote environmental consciousness, facilitated a series of environmental awareness lectures in the community, ran beach cleanups, maintained a community garden, and painted wall murals of the world and environmental themes at the local schools. Brigada Verde promotes environmental conservation within the community of Gaspar Hernandez and provides leadership and service opportunities to its youth members. In working with Brigada Verde, the community has reconnected youth with the abundant, valuable natural resources of their country and inspired a desire to protect them.
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