Bolivia – Dr. Manuel G. Mendieta School

posted in: Gardening | 0

Environmental sustainability is an important issue not only in Germany but also in Latin America and throughout the world.

Even here in my actual neighbourhood, Tarabuco, which is a hamlet in Bolivia, is sustainability an important theme in schools.

The children receive not only breakfast but also lunch free of charge in school, but in order for this to be effective, everyone helps grow the foodstuffs.

We plant all kinds of vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuces, beans and cucumbers ourselves and then regularly look after the plants until they are ripe and ready to be harvested for the school lunch.

It is great fun to work in the green house and every class has its own section to look after. However, due to drought in Bolivia, it proves a challenge because water is extremely scarce in the village and there is hardly enough to suffice.

Despite that, up until now it has invariably worked well and there was plenty to harvest, something of which the children themselves are thrilled about because they see the results of their own work.

There is often much for us to do, for it’s not enough to only water the plants. They must also be carefully trimmed and stabilized, the soil aerated and the weeds removed. These are activities that the pupils tackle on a weekly basis and everyone mucks in with great enthusiasm.

Given that our school, “Dr. Manuel G. Mendieta”, has not much money available, we often improvise and create our own work tools and materials, for example, a plastic bottle with holes punched in the lid can be transformed into a watering can, and the much accumulated refuse sensibly utilised.

Here one can see the children from class 4B with their teacher Prof. Aleyda tending their beans. They loosen up the earth with sticks of wood that they have collected in the garden.

The green bottle serves as a watering can.