Inspiring Children and their Families

May 2015

Dear Friends,

In a 5th grade classroom at Primaria Escuela Ford No. 198 in Tulum Pueblo, children proudly proclaimed, “I am an Art of Conservation graduate.” 

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Each graduate received this certificate. The design includes a few of the animals we studied:

motmot, spider monkey, jaguar, and turtle.  

Along with their certificates, this special group of children gathered their personal AoC Creative Learning Kits, now serving as a portfolio, recently stuffed with all the work they did over AoC’s semester long (90 plus hours) of one-health awareness classes.

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2015 Is Great So Far... Thanks To You

THANK YOU friends for supporting Art of Conservation. Our winter appeal has brought in much needed funding which I am forever grateful. My hope is that more contributions will arrive! Our programming is effective and beneficial... let's continue working together to protect our shared biodiversity.

Our programs for 2015 begin now and we promise to do our best to bring about real and long-lasting change with the beautiful children and families in which we interact with.

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Selena, a student from our first program in México in 2014, painted this fabulous watercolor of a toucan following our natural history discussion.

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Class of 2014 - Thanks to Your Invaluable Support

I have splendid cause for celebration! A few days ago we completed our first four-month afterschool program in México and the kids and I are reveling in happiness. I would like to highlight the class work of two students to illustrate what Art of Conservation’s Creative Learning and One-Health Awareness programming is all about.

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AoC Artist-in-Residence Works With Students

Brian, from Argentina, is working with us as our first artist-in-residence in México. He brings exciting dynamics to our work and at a time that the kids are really ready to explore more in depth the many lessons we have shared since September.  

Artist-in-Residence_Brain-4.jpgBrain demonstrates focusing on the entire body of a spider monkey using a different color per body part.

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Open House Invitation

We did it! We are coming to the close of our first programming in México and it's time to celebrate! Yes, a lot of work and energy put forth, but wow, it's a great start.

As in Rwanda, we like to end our one-health conservation creative learning program with an open house. Moms and dads, teachers, guest speakers and role models who came to classes, friends, neighbors, and all... YOU ARE INVITED.

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Please join us!

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Spider Monkey Experts Talk With The Kids

Recently we were fortunate to have spider and howler monkey experts, Drs. Colleen, Filippo, and Luisa of ConMonoMaya, emerge from the jungle at Punta Laguna and visit our class at Escuela Primaria Ignacio Zaragoza in Macario Gómez. 

Luisa shared a slide show which included beautiful photos of monkeys and great apes. Most of our students have seen spider and howler monkeys but the sad truth is that it's due to their family or community members having them as pets. Ouch. Luisa explained why having a wild animal as a pet is not a good idea and who to reach out to for support.

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Luisa shares information with the children.

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Tulum Water Guardians

Children receive Art of Conservation Creative Learning Kits - I'll explain more about the kits in the next few weeks (they are so cool!) - which among the many things inside contain water monitoring sets. We are very fortunate to have water expert Olmo Torres-Talamante guide us through each of the eight basic water quality parameters: Coliform Bacteria, Dissolved Oxygen, BOD, Nitrate, pH, Phosphate, Temperature, and Turbidity. 

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The children lead Olmo, Manuel, and me to a nearby cenote - or sinkhole - found close to their school. Olmo begins with how to carefully collect a water sample followed by the first test. 

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AoC Welcomes Manuel, Ilze, and Malu

Art of Conservation has an expanding network of dedicated individuals working diligently toward our mission to inspire children and their families to conserve biodiversity through creative learning and one-health awareness. I am extremely grateful to each and everyone - past and present - who has helped and is helping. Most recently, Manuel, Ilze, and Malu have joined the AoC team. Here is a brief introduction.

Both in the classroom or in the rain while exploring a nearby cenote and wetlands, Manuel is a natural with the children and is caring to everyone he meets. Since August, Manuel and I have been preparing and presenting numerous lessons for and to our group of children during AoC's first pilot program in the Caribbean Basin.  

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At a nearby cenote with AoC students, Manuel cares for and inspires the children.

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Beneath The Surface

The OCEAN! After a ride in a couple of mini-vans, Art of Conservation students from Primaria "Ignacio Zaragoza" in Macario Gomez arrive at Soliman Bay. The majority of these children have spent little or no time at the Caribbean seaside even though their pueblo is just 25 kilometers inland off the Coba Road. Today is a special day!

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Children point to the beautiful ocean waters once we arrive at the beach.

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Exploring Our Blue Planet

Water is one of our most precious resources. It covers more than 70% of Earth's surface. Fresh water is only about 2.5% of all the water on Earth and not all of that is available for our use due to much of it being trapped underground or frozen in glaciers and ice sheets.

Exploring_our_Blue_Planet_2.jpgStudents locate the oceans on The World felt mat, Caribbean Basin map, and worksheets.

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