| Nov 8, 2023
Thanks to you 18 children want to change the world
Building a school garden
The way we adults look at the territory determines the consciousness with which the children inhabit it. We have reaffirmed this in the town of Chihuitán, where since July we began our program for children, youth and the territory to strengthen the roots and identity of our people. Today we want to talk about how we lived the approach to the livelihoods of the people, with the help of Perseida who shared part of our educational program focused on agroecology.
The first thing we did was to make a visit to the territory, where the children told us how sad it was to see the "Rio chiquito" completely dried up. They were very sad and even though many children came from a violent family context and were not very willing to participate in the program, but as they experienced the collective reflections, their attitude changed positively.
The second event was very powerful, although it reminded us of the responsibility we have as an organization regarding risk prevention, we do not want to leave it unmentioned because the effect on the children was impressive. The children's group, made up of children from 7 to 11 years old, decided to create a vegetable garden within their school.
However, the first day we planted at the school, a lot of smoke started coming from the neighbor's land, caused by the "controlled" burning of garbage. There was a horse on the land very close to the flames and this distressed us all, and we could not stop coughing. We had to stop activities, we called the authorities and although the owner showed up and identified himself, the burning did not stop, the police did not act and the owner did not take responsibility. The children began to demand that the fire be put out by shouting, but when we saw that there was no response, we decided to end the session so as not to put them at risk. It was painful to recognize that if our voices are hardly heard, the voice of the children regarding the care of their territory is completely silenced and ignored. The frustration was too much, then the authorities offered us apologies and the story didn't go much further. What did happen was that our group of children changed, everyone's disposition increased and they were very committed, teamwork improved a lot and we felt very inspired and grateful for this attitude.
The children made a manifesto letter in which they gave a message to their community:
"We want the people to respect the rules, the plants, take care of the water because the fish are dying. We don't want them to throw garbage, we want the signs to be respected, let's take care of the town, don't cut down the trees, don't kill the animals, the deer, the iguanas, the armadillo because they give us life and joy. We want to tell the people that the trees let us breathe. We Chihuitejo boys and girls, guardians of nature, want there to be more trees, we want the water to be free of garbage. We write this letter so that they will respect the people, the beautiful culture we have in Santo Domingo Chihuitán and that there will be no violence towards nature."
The children showed us that they understand the importance of caring for the territory and the environment, but the generation gap makes dialogue impossible. We are convinced that continuing to open spaces such as this program will allow us to give children a voice, give them the tools to trust their voices and sensitize us as adults to recognize that the territory belongs to everyone and to the future, not just the present. Thank you very much for trusting and promoting learning spaces for children and youth.
Raising environmental awareness
Seeking powerful messages
Chihuitan Santo Domingo