With its lush forests, dramatic mountains, pristine cenotes and breathtaking beaches, Mexico is not only beautiful and geographically diverse, it’s home to approximately 10% of the world’s plant and animal species—which makes conservation work there particularly critical. Fortunately, the government of Chiapas, Mexico, recently strengthened its commitment to the Rainforest Alliance’s environmental education work in that state by signing a renewed Memorandum of Understanding and committing funds to support the Rainforest Alliance’s programs with public school teachers there.
“Chiapas has long been a conservation leader, and we’re excited and motivated by the state’s expanded support,” Education Program Manager Maria Ghiso said. “We believe that this renewed commitment from the people and leaders of Chiapas will help us move together toward a more sustainable future.”
Ghiso traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with Manuel Velasco, the Governor of Chiapas, and to sign the renewed Memorandum of Understanding. The Rainforest Alliance education team, as part of the Mexico Alliance for Reducing [Carbon] Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (M-REDD+ Alliance), works throughout the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Chiapas helping teachers understand their unique environment and the need to preserve local ecosystems. Teacher training workshops provide multidisciplinary lessons and help fluidly incorporate environmental themes into the core classroom subjects, such as language arts, science, social studies, math, and the arts. Teachers use hands-on, dynamic educational tools to foster in students a lifelong commitment to protecting this biodiverse region.
According to Chiapas teacher Brenda Zitlali Cruz González, who participated in the Rainforest Alliance workshops, “The Rainforest Alliance curriculum was academically enriching, but the most valuable part was that my students learned the human value of caring for their own spaces. We all learned that knowing the causes and effects of climate change empowers us to help to mitigate the problem.”