Environmental education on the Caribbean coast by Ariana

Environmental education is a matter close to Tropica Verde’s heart – and therefore also to Ariana. Education is not only an important component of sustainable development in our sea turtle project in Gandoca, but also in the surrounding area and the entire catchment area of our projects. Get to know our employee Ariana Oporta McCarthy and her motivation in this interview.

Environmental education partner Ariana Oporta McCarthy

Ariana, please tell us your personal story and where your interest in the environment and indigenous communities comes from?

I come from the Talamanca region, more precisely from a small village on the south coast of the Caribbean in Costa Rica. My roots are a mixture of the indigenous Bribri culture and Afro-Caribbean culture. Even as a child, I was involved in measures to protect sea turtles in my community. I have also been actively involved in other initiatives that deal with training and raising awareness among children, youth and adults from different communities, such as environmental education, vacation camps, ecological and community tourism. The cultures of the indigenous peoples of Talamanca have always been of particular interest to me, as they represent my origins and can contribute a great deal to social and environmental awareness. These are cultures that are closely connected to nature, from which we can learn a lot.

Why are you working with Tropica Verde and what role do you see yourself in?

As these areas are geographically difficult to access, they are often excluded from nature conservation projects by various organizations. For this reason, we at Tropica Verde would like to pay particular attention to schools in the Bribri indigenous area as part of our environmental education with the children in Talamanca. We work on the basis of inclusion and are convinced that they can do a lot to protect our planet because of their world view. That’s why I feel privileged to have the professional opportunity that Tropica Verde is currently offering me, and I fulfill it with great enthusiasm and vocation. In this position, I see myself as a promoter of new generations of conservationists, a mediator of life experiences and an organizer of playful and artistic events that bring together the various community actors and promote culture as well as nature conservation and especially networking.

What do you think is the role of environmental education?

We know that education and awareness-raising are the first step in creating awareness, because “only what we love, we care for, and only what we know, we love”. Therefore, we are sure that through the experiences we promote at Tropica Verde, we are generating new knowledge and planting the seeds of conservation. We hope that new generations of leaders and change agents will emerge as a result of these processes.

Environmental education partner Ariana Oporta McCarthy Turtle

Even Forbes magazine has written a report on Ariana’s work with the hawksbill turtle.

Thank you Ariana for doing the interview with us. Thank you for your support – together we protect our planet and encourage new generations of conservationists!



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