Intag, Ecuador, High School Project by Touch The Jungle
Construction will begin on the Touch The Jungle high school
in Spring 2013. We still need your help to raise funds to purchase
classroom items such as desks, chairs, computers, and other classroom
equipment this year!
Touch the Jungle has been working in the Ecuador area of Intag for several years now, which contains rain forests to cloud forests to high altitude desert habitats, near the back side of the Playa de Oro Reserve that we have supported for so many years. The Intag region consists mainly of rural family farms raising organic coffee and fruit. Many families live in extreme poverty and the average income is just $100 a month for entire families, in a country where shoes, clothing, and cars cost the same as in the US. Could you survive on $100 a month, much less support a family? Yet despite the poverty, this region has passed revolutionary local environmental laws to protect their environment, the habitats, and natural waterways, because they understand these natural resources are priceless and irreplaceable. For the past several years, Touch The Jungle has been building a wildlife rescue center in Intag near Apuela. But we have much more up our sleeves planned for helping this rural farming community in their fight against copper mining and timber companies, upholding their environmental protection laws, and maintaining their way of life!
As you know, Touch the Jungle's mission is: Protect threatened rainforest and cloud forest habitats. Protect, rescue, and rehabilitate native animals. Empower local people to preserve the rainforest and protect its wildlife.
These goals are interdependent. Wildlife cannot survive without habitat. The habitat cannot survive if the local people don't protect it. The local people cannot survive without wildlife and the forest. Yet extreme poverty, lack of jobs, and lack of education cause many communities to accept the offers of loggers and miners just to provide their families with the necessities of life. If we want local people to support and protect the rainforest and its wildlife, then we must support them. This Touch The Jungle does, by supporting community projects such as health care and education, and assisting them in developing environmentally-friendly sources of income such as ecotourism.
In the process of establishing the wildlife center and our project into the local Intag community, we have come to identify the greatest needs of the community and how we can help support their efforts of environmental protection and their organic farming practices. This rural farming community does not have a high school in which their young people can get a high school diploma and make a better life for themselves. We have taken on the project of building a high school/trade school for the Apuela area of Intag. This school will not only provide the young adults of this area with a high school diploma, but also, they will get training in various trades relative to their community needs such as organic agriculture, organic farm animal husbandry practices, artesian crafts, forestry, water shed management, etc. This school will help educate the young adults of this region to have the tools and knowledge to not only protect their forests, watersheds, and practice organic farming and farm animal care, but ultimately helps Touch the Jungle protect the wildlife and habitat through these young people, generation after generation. The school will also become the base location for Touch The Jungle's future wildlife outreach & educational programs for the locals.
The cost of construction of this school will be just $30,000. Our sponsoring nonprofit, Earthways Foundation, has agreed if Touch The Jungle can raise half of those funds this year, they will match the funds we raise. (Earthways Foundation is a US 501(c)3 nonprofit organization tax ID 65-402-1351) So we really can build a whole high school for just $15,000!!! Such a small amount to change hundreds of lives for the better!!! Our goal is to raise these funds by the end of the 2012, and start construction in early 2013.
Future home of the Touch The Jungle High School, which is located on the main highway near the new police station and community center just outside of the town of Apuela. The school will also be a working organic farm.
A few students and elected members of the School Assocation visit the future location of the high school.
Touch The Jungle Teachers, 9th through 12th grade, with TTJ volunteer, Grace Lush, 4th from left.
Elected School Association Board members for 2012-2013 term. The local name of the school will be the Spanish equivalent of our project name Touch The Jungle, "Sienta la Selva".
Of course, the Intag residents being the industrious lot they are, have jumped right in to start their own fundraising for the school on their end. One of the projects they have already begun is a coffee plant co-operative in which coffee farmers that need to buy more coffee plants but cannot afford to, will be donating their time to care for 20,000 coffee seedlings donated by the School Association. In return for their work, each volunteer will receive a certain number of coffee plants for their own farm. The remaining coffee plants will be sold and profits will go to the Touch The Jungle high school construction fund.
Preparing the soil for planting organic coffee plants.
Sand is put on top of the planting soil before planting.
A member of the Intag Coffee Co-op explains how to plant the coffee seeds properly.
The group planting the coffee seeds that will not only support their own farms but raise money for the Touch The Jungle High School.
Another way the local residents are trying to help Touch The Jungle raise money for this school is through a raffle. Touch The Jungle has donated farm animals and other raffle prizes, and the local youth group (students of the future school) are selling raffle tickets for $1 per chance to win these prizes. All the proceeds will go the Touch The Jungle school construction fund, and Earthways will match the amount raised by the raffle. Intag residents can purchase tickets for a change to win.
Of course, these local efforts in Intag are not going to be enough to fund the entire project. We also need your support to meet our goal in 2012! Any donation you make will be automatically doubled by Earthways Foundation. Please consider making a donation, no matter how small, to help the kids in this region get a proper high school education. Please tell your friends, your church, or your social clubs about our efforts to build this much needed school in Ecuador and help us raise funds! You can even visit the project on one of our group tours!
If you are located in the US, and you would like a tax deductible receipt, you can mail your donation checks to:
Earthways Foundation (US 501(c)3 nonprofit organization tax ID 65-402-1351) 20178 Rockport Way
Malibu, CA 90265
If you would like to make a donation online with a credit card, debit card, or electronic check, we can accept paypal donations. You can click on the paypal donation button below to take you directly to our paypal account. When you make your donation, if you select the payment type as a "personal gift" then paypal will not take out any fees so that 100% of your donation will be sent to the project.
You can also go directly to your paypal account and select "send payment" to this email address email@example.com
If you have any questions about this project or want to find out how you or your group can help out, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.