The teachers of the Julio Sellés Solá School have the mission of teaching their students the importance of cultivating the land responsibly. In their different courses, they incorporate topics related to seed germination, compost production, farming, and reforestation with endemic and native trees.
For three years, they have been developing an agroecological orchard at their school. During that time, “all the children wanted to do was go to the orchard, they were very motivated and committed,” said Álida Feliciano, teacher in charge of the project.
For Nahara, a fifth-grade student, the orchard is very important because “I feel good when I cultivate the land. It helps us (the students) reforest and produce food for the school dining hall.”
The students have grown tomatoes, pigeon peas, green beans, corn, watermelon, lettuce, plantains and bananas. They have donated the harvest to the school dining hall, improving their eating habits. According to Álida, her students feel proud to say “I did it. I seeded the crops which produced these foods.”
After Hurricanes Irma and María, the children felt very sad because their plants were no longer at the school garden. For that reason, the Para la Naturaleza team and our friends of Desde mi Huerto, helped Álida’s students restore this space of learning and enjoyment.
“This day is very important for them (the students) because after Irma and María our activity in the garden stopped,” said Álida, who was happy to see her students’ enthusiasm and joy.
During the activity, the fourth and fifth grade students learned how to build and paint the seed lots, how to compost and how to sow new plants. Now, they can continue with this project that has promoted a significant change in their behavior and academic performance.
The garden has become a space to put their ideas into practice, work as a team and involve their parents. “Children are more attentive, more supportive, assume leadership roles and have more initiative,” said the teacher. In addition, the project has greatly improved communication and interpersonal relationships of students.
Help us rebuild orchards in more schools and communities. Visit www.pln.org and donate today to the Para la Naturaleza Community Fund!