Students support environmental sustainability in Amazon Rain Forest


Climb for Leaders is delighted to announce its support of the Yachana Technical High School in the Amazon Rain Forest in Orellana province, Ecuador. The Yachana Foundation opened the Yachana Technical High School in October 2005  to benefit high school age indigenous and mestizo students who live in remote rural communities in Ecuador’s Amazon region.

The Yachana Technical High School is a non-traditional boarding school providing a practical and relevant experiential learning approach. It is forging a new generation of green leaders and entrepreneurs and is sparking students’ interest and desire to continue their education. The program is promoting conservation of the Amazon’s biodiversity through teaching sustainable use of natural resources, providing professional skills to improve employability, and mentoring management of student-run ecological enterprises. Subjects include ecotourism, sustainable agriculture, forest and wildlife management and environmentally sustainable micro-enterprises.“On a recent visit to the school, we were delighted to learn first-hand from the program coordinators of the successes—and challenges—that the program had. In the Amazon region of Ecuador, poverty, environmental degradation and poor quality of public education are all inextricably linked. Thirty percent of elementary school children in the Amazon region do not finish the 6th grade. Only 15% finish secondary schooling. Students drop out because they feel the current public education available in their remote communities is impractical and irrelevant to their everyday lives. Young boys and girls from poverty stricken backgrounds now have a great opportunity to get a good education and learn practical skills , which will make a huge impact to a growing number of families,” says Narmin K. Ismail, co-founder of Climb for Leaders.

Adds Juan Kunchicuy, senior manager of the program:”Meaningful education is the key to reversing generations of poverty, raising environmental awareness and ensuring the sustainable use of the region’s natural resources. With the proper preparation, Amazon youth can become good stewards of their land, leaders within their communities and ambassadors for the Amazon. They can learn how to be successful entrepreneurs, gain the tools to improve their standard of living, and create environmentally sound employment possibilities in the rainforest.

We are delighted to have the support of the Climb for Leaders, who we are confident can help us meet some of our key program objectives. One of the unique features of the Yachana Technical High School is that its operation is designed to be as close to self-sustaining as possible. Initially, large sums of support are needed for salaries, operations and the construction of infrastructure. Our goal is to have the school self-sustaining in a short period of time. The innovative combination of support from Yachana Lodge, Yachana Technology and microenterprises run by the students, plus volunteers and supporters, will we hope ensure this goal within a few years”, he adds.

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