Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests

by Asociacion Cultural Na Bolom
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Teaching children in Chiapas how to grow forests
Receiving books for workshop
Receiving books for workshop

Teaching the children how to create and protect the forests is centred on recovering the tradition of caring for nature and producing wood to cover their needs. We work with different communities focusing on recovering their tradition and ancient knowledge of the love for mother nature. This project was born because the elders told us that their grandchildren don't know and don't want to know their traditions. They have forgotten the importance of the trees and mother nature. Deforestation has to do with this. We base our way of living on the use of wood. 

Communities need wood for cooking and building, even for their crafts. We can not forbid them to use it, so we have to understand their needs and teach them how to continue their traditions and to find a balance to protect the woods. We work with the communities listening to their interests. In Mitontic, a tseltal community in the highlands of Chiapas, they produce coffee. They came to us asking for oak trees that they need for their coffee fields. 

The first step in 2020 was the reforestation of the area with oak trees we produced in Na Bolom's nursery. Then the community agreed to enter the program and we built a nursery of their grounds in the first trimester of 2021 thanks to GlobalGiving accelerator. In the second trimester, we did some training and brought coffee experts to teach them how to improve their production and select better seeds. We also did the follow up of the oak trees.

Thanks to the collaboration of another NGO in Mexico City, Casa Gallina, we did a workshop with the kids and took some books in Spanish and tseltal that Casa Gallina edited to gift the children. During the workshop the kids did a reflection on the difference between life in the city and life in the countryside and the importance of the living creatures. They also learnt about the impact the trash has of their surroundings and what happens in your body when you eat junk food. In the end, they did some drawings showing why they like to live in their communities. The children told us they don't like the life in the city cause cities are too crowded and polluted.

The community built a second nursery where they are growing trees with the seeds they collected in the surroundings. They also participated in a workshop on the selection of the seeds. All the activities are organized with the participation of the kids and the parents.

The next step will be to teach them how to grow the plants and have the first production for next year reforestation.

The last weekend of June we will be building another trees nursery in Zinacantan.

 

Drawing life in the countryside
Drawing life in the countryside
Visiting the first productions
Visiting the first productions
Learning on how to improve the coffee's quality
Learning on how to improve the coffee's quality

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germination box
germination box

Cim Bokum which means two rivers, is a community in the district of Mitontic in the Highlands of Chiapas. It is one of the poorest areas in the states. Due to the difficulty to get there they don't receive much help. Hte weather is warm and iti is inhabited by tsotsils.

In order to start the trees nursery project we had to begin working with one of the groups formed by 20 families. The children are not assiting school yet due to covid, so they helped their parents directly. In this first visit Na Bolom's staff took part of the materials to build the nursery and gave the group a workshop on how to select and protect the seeds, the importance of the nursery, how to build it and take care of the materials and some techniques to make the seeds grow faster and healthier.

After the workshop we went to the area that the community had previously cleaned and helped build the nursery. 
It is important to mention that last year Na Bolom had a first visit to the community where we did a reforestation to plant oak trees. This community has been producing coffee plants and they need the oak trees for shade. The nursery will have a double fonction for coffee plants production and oak trees production. We will build other nurseries in the area to produce other species to reforest the area and have exchanges.

So during the first visit that took place on february 17th 2021:

1. Workshop on the selection, germination and care of the seeds.

2. Construction of the nursery with the help of the community adults and children

3. Implementention of the germination box previously built by the community.

 

The next visit will take place in 6 weeks in order to see the growth of the seeds in the germinator and prepare the tetrapak for the seed trasplant.

In the meantime the community will have to recolect seeds from different species so during the next visit we will have a workshop on how to germinate other kind of plants.

As this year, due to the change in the weather we haven't been able to find oak seeds, the reforestation will be done with the plants produced in Na Bolom's nursery with the seeds we collected last year. In order to continue with the production of the nursery in Na Bolom, we are increasing the size of the Nursery so we go from a production of 60,000 tress to 120,000.

 

Other communities have asked to be part of the project so each one of them will have a specific task in order to profit from the different qualities of the areas. For example Naha in the lacandon area will gather seeds for a seed bank for tropical species. Na Bolom will start a seed bank for species from the Highlands of Chiapas, Mitontic will continue with coffee and oak trees, Lacanja in the Lacandon area will specialize in trees where tropical birds dwell. Our aim is to have another 5 trees nurseries in different areas of Chiapas this year.

Cleaning the area for the nursery
Cleaning the area for the nursery
Preparing the shade
Preparing the shade
Nursery ready
Nursery ready
Rigoberto Lopez from Na Bolom giving the workshop
Rigoberto Lopez from Na Bolom giving the workshop
Preparing the mix for the germination
Preparing the mix for the germination
Part of the families
Part of the families
Using recycled material
Using recycled material

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Organization Information

Asociacion Cultural Na Bolom

Location: San Cristobal de Las Casas - Mexico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MuseoNaBolom
Project Leader:
Patricia Lopez
San Cristobal de Las Casas, chiapas Mexico
$7,165 raised of $10,000 goal
 
90 donations
$2,835 to go
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