Each year, Upper School students participate in a number of educational and service learning opportunities, near and far, through our End-of-Year Experience program. Last May, a group of students traveled to Peru for an experience focused on rainforest conservation and community service. While there, they participated in the ongoing research activities of the Crees Foundation, a Peruvian nonprofit organization, to better understand the value of secondary rainforest by comparing the biodiversity of disturbed and regenerating rainforest with the primary rainforest itself.
Another key component of the trip was time spent in service to the small rural community of Salvación, facilitated by the Crees Foundation. One of the planned activities was to run workshops with the children of Salvación at Manu Learning Center, but rains prohibited their travel on the day in question. The students decided to transform this missed opportunity into a new one. With money raised for their travel, they were able to present the Crees Foundation with a $500 donation.
The gift funded the supplies for up to two biogardens in the community of Salvación, to be built by the families receiving the garden together with volunteers from across the world working for Crees. In that remote location, biogardens provide an economic basis for families and an underpinning for the community that ultimately plays into rainforest conservation.
The foundation had never before received a similar donation. "The people really value support in this initiative which was generated by them and brought to fruition through Crees," says Upper School Teacher Frances Brindle.