Ecological Learning Adventures—Hacienda Panoaya

panoaya

Sent by Theresa Wilken – Junior High Principal

On November 25, 2015 the students of 7th and 8th grade traveled to Hacienda Panoaya and the Forest of Christmas Trees (Bosque de los Arboles de Navidad) in Amecameca, Mexico. The Christmas Tree Forest is a major reforestation effort that has reforested 1,400,000 m2 of forested lands that were in danger of becoming extinct during the 1960s. The reforested land now produces enough oxygen for 49,000,000 persons. Places like this forest give us proof and hope that Mexico can be populated by forest. This project is financed by the sale of Christmas trees and receives no governmental help. After exploring the Christmas tree plantation, and taking a short walk through the forest, we hiked up an extinct volcano and visited its crater. This amazing place opened our students’ mind to the importance of our relationship with nature.

Apart from the important ecological contact in the Christmas tree forest, we also visited Hacienda Panoaya. The Hacienda was a childhood home of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. We visited the museum of Sor Juana and the International Museum of Volcanos. The Museum of Sor Juana gave us insight into life during 17th century and drew our attention to her important contributions to culture. Finally the visit to the International Museum of Volcanos showcased the beauty and power of Mexico’s volcanos. Apart from all the learning we had fun exploring the Hacienda, seeing and petting a variety of animals in the petting zoo in the park.

Having the experience of visiting such a beautiful place that has consciously developed and protected its natural beauty remind me of a Native American proverb that says “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”.

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