DREFF joins the Siempre Mas Foundation in realizing the Sixth and Seventh Educational Expeditions to Pico Duarte
Santo Domingo, October 7, 2013Tweet
The Sixth and Seventh Educational Expeditions to Pico Duarte, organized by Karim Mella’s Siempre Mas Foundation, in collaboration with Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) and Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE) among other organizations, took place this past September 12-15 and October 3-6, respectively.
The Sixth Educational Expedition included the participation of 93 underprivileged high school students from around the country including: Casa Santa Ana, Escuela Hogar Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos in San Pedro, Liceo Marcos Castañer, Colegio Fe y Alegría in San Cristóbal, Liceo Hermando Miguel in Santiago and special needs students from the Quiéreme Como Soy Foundation. On the four day trek to the tallest peak of the Antilles, the students learned leadership skills, had the opportunity to build respect and love for their natural environment and understand the importance of environmental conservation.
The Seventh Educational Expedition to Pico Duarte, which closely followed the sixth expedition included the participation of 36 students, activity leaders and guides, this time forming part of financial institution’s Asociación Popular de Ahorros y Préstamos (APAP) initiative “Give a Chance,” which rewards students recognized for academic excellence with training and capacity building opportunities. The expedition took place under heavy rainfall. The group overcame a number of obstacles during the trek, including walking through a swamp under a blanket of fog and rain before reaching the high mountains. Upon having reached the top of Pico Duarte, students were greeted with blue skies, sunshine and a light breeze, before making their descent back into the rain along the valley’s muddy trails.
During each expedition, students received 11 educational talks from environmental conservation experts at the Armando Bermudez National Park, including one by the director of the park, Mr. Alex Corona. The expedition included lectures on the geography of the Cordillera Mountain Range, the climate of the Dominican Republic, environmental protection, forest fires, reforestation and first aid. Students participated in these discussions by applying lessons learned in group presentations.
Participating students also learn the importance of personal strength, teamwork, comradeship, discipline and group awareness-- skills that will help them to achieve their present and future goals. DREFF hopes the trip will provide students with a positive enduring experience, and help them gain an appreciation of their shared natural heritage and the importance of protecting it for future generations. The initiative was cultivated during the first DR Environmental Film Festival (DREFF) in September 2011, and provided participating students with the chance to develop an emotional connection and respect with nature.
The expedition was made possible thanks to support from the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF), whom has provided the necessary equipment for realization of each expedition, as well as many other collaborators including the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic, Quiereme como Soy Foundation, Futuro Posible Foundation, and APAP, among others.
The Educational Expeditions to Pico Duarte reflects DREFF’s overall mission to interact with leading figures in the environmental community and, by encouraging the participation of young students, foster change at the grassroots level.
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