Belen

New project with children of local community

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DSCN2591 The volunteers have been lucky enough to be involved with the local community school “Escuela Ecologica’ nearby the farm, with its success, will be an ongoing visit every Tuesday ranging from lessons on nutritional benefits of Cashew fruit ( known as Maranon in Costa Rica) to yoga classes. Volunteers will also be preparing healthy treats for the students that incorporate produce from the farm along with their cooking forte to make nutritional food that students would consume – a challenge we are all ready to take. In Costa Rica, their main staple is rice and beans, which is served for breakfast, lunch and dinner accompanied with meat.

Last Tuesday the students received an intriguing informative information on maranon – it’s nutritional benefits for a growing body and how it can also be transformed into a snack, a native fruit that is currently blossoming outside their classroom but not so popular fruit on its own. The volunteers combined hibiscus flower and Cashew fruit juice to make a sweet tea for the students whilst also introducing the fruit by dehydrating it. Overall the dehydrated Cashew fruit was far more popular than the tea itself. Alongside the maranon, the volunteers prepared a cuadrado pancake, made from cuadrado flour and ripe cuadrado, of which was a hit with the students as well as the teachers. Cuadrado is a type of banana that is widely growing in Costa Rica.

Last week saw the introduction of basic yoga class to the class and a treat of oat, carrot and kale juice cookies after. Already Immersed into the culture of yoga here in Montezuma, teaching yoga to the class came as easy as eating the cookies themselves. What a joy to see the volunteers and students interact together, and mostly rewarding to see the students enjoy their vegetables.

This Tuesday the students came to the farm, and we gave them a tour so they could know more about the activities that take place here. In the tour they had the chance to see the vegetables we grow and the animals we keep here, and how we use them for our own benefit. After the tour, the children came to the kitchen where they were introduced to the spinach and its properties, followed by healthy snacks that we prepared using this vegetable (pancakes and balls). It was a success because most of the children liked the snacks and they ate them. For our surprise, two days later some of these children came back to the farm by themselves asking for spinach seedlings to plant them at home.

We proposed a competition to the students in order to increase their motivation to learn more about the spinach. They have to write something about the spinach and its properties, besides some drawings, and they are encouraged to be creative and original with this task. By Monday next week we will collect their sheets from the teachers and we will choose a winner. The prize will be some healthy treats and maybe some other suprises. Furthermore, the other groups of students that did not come this week, will come next week to do the same activity.

And yesterday morning we gave another yoga class to the children, which they enjoyed very much. Some of them asked us about the task of the spinach and all of them seemed very motivated. Some of them told us that they are preparing a surprise for us, will see what is that!

We are sure that the incorporation of the children of the nearby community in Rancho Delicioso will add more value to our farm. We believe that we have to make the local people participants of our project if we want to achieve real success. Thank you to Nicole, Hallie, Catalina and Belen who helped translate in Spanish and also prepare such an amazing on site field trip for the students.

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