Marleny Rosales Meda
Biologist, University of San Carlos of Guatemala; Director of the Santa Lucia Lachua Biological Field Station
Research: Environmental-Cultural Education School Program (PEACE) in the Ecoregion Lachua, Guatemala
Abstract: The PEACE is the first participative environmental-cultural education process carried out in the influence area of a protected area in Guatemala. PEACE integrates both scientific ecological knowledge and traditional Maya-Q´eqchi´ environmental knowledge and promotes the strengthening of ancestral values, as well as development of intellectual and creative skills of school children by using environmental interpretation methods. This program has been widely accepted and requested by local students, teachers and authorities in all communities of the Ecoregion Lachua. Park rangers have successfully been trained as environmental educators to replicate the PEACE's activities in regional schools and the goal is to expand this effort to reach 51 schools from 41 communities, representing 75% of the overall communities living around Laguna Lachua National Park.