Female Leaders of Biodiversity
The Educational Center Mbaracayú (CEM) offers exciting opportunities for young women to break traditional gender stereotypes in Paraguay. In a region where mostly men provide for the family through agriculture and employment, these ambitious young women are learning how to play the same game, and they are excelling.
Young women who attend the school located in the Mbaracayú Natural Forest Reserve on the eastern side of Paraguay are learning valuable lessons in various industries not traditionally occupied by women. Specifically, the school trains these young women to be conservationists first; the students learn about environmental conservation, green energy and first aid for use deep in the forest or in their hometowns.
Fundación Moises Bertoni, the Paraguayan organization founded to improve the quality of life of people through the preservation of biodiversity, conservation of the environment and the promotion of sustainable development to benefit present and future generations, also administers the school. The main institutional protector of the Mbaracayú Natural Forest, Fundación Moises Bertoni has won many awards for conservation of the last large forest in Paraguay, including their recent win of the Global Prize for Biodiversity Conservation from BBVA Foundation.
The students at CEM are directly benefitted by their location in Mbaracayú: they can participate in any conversations about biodiversity held by Fundación Moises Bertoni and the various partners that travel to the CEM for retreats, meetings, and even trainings of the students. The Red Cross visited recently to teach the students key tactics in basic first aid!
CEM provides innovative opportunities for girls to learn key skills they otherwise would not be a part of. These skills help broaden their horizons of what is possible for girls, and their activities as young forest rangers helps to empower them and other women they encounter to understand what a woman can be capable of.
Red Cross Training