“The secrets of my Chakra”: a workshop to sensitize children to agroecology

In June 1st, 2019, the International Children’s Day was celebrated, and to commemorate it, CINCA with the Dragon of Polylepis team, held a workshop with the children of the community of El Cubinche, to sensitize them on the subject of agroecology.

A shared initiative...

Dragon de Polylepis tries to combine science, art and education, so that people can have fun learning how their environment works and be part of caring for the environment. For this they create fantastic stories inspired by ecosystems, natural phenomena and native species of Ecuador. The aim is to surprise children with the magic that exists in nature and thus sensitize them, so that in the future they will be the ones who decide to protect it and be agents of change.

A workshop to discover "The secrets of my chakra"

The objective of this workshop was to highlight the biological, cultural and social processes that occur during the production of our food. Through a direct approach to the “chakra”, the children were able to rediscover their relationship with the land and its products, experiencing in a sensory way what each fruit offered them. This was accompanied by a fantastic story that told the story of how food begins in a seed, passes to our table and returns to the earth. 

In addition, it is fundamental for us to be able to share healthy and sustainable production alternatives, which is why the volunteers from CINCA and Dragón de Polylepis worked together to build an experience that gives the youngest the opportunity to understand agriculture and food from a different point of view.

Fun activities to attract children's attention

During the workshop, the Polylepis Dragon team showed the children the secrets of the farm:

  • Fantastic tale: Shatrú was the character who inspired the story of the magical origin of agriculture and the importance of ancestral techniques. The children discovered that life starts from the seeds, the source of all the products that come to our table.
  • Tour of the farm: the children could see the different varieties of vegetables and some of their adaptations. Five groups of children were accompanied and experienced through touch, smell, taste and sight, the different foods that are produced in CINCA.
  • Sensory exercise: the youngest children could participate in a sensory exercise with blindfolded eyes to guess different vegetables presented to them using their other senses: smell, touch and taste.
  • Pambamesa: finally what better than ending the day sharing a meal together, made with the same foods from the garden. The children of El Cubinche are not accustomed to eating a great variety of vegetables so we cook delicious and alternative dishes. It was a true experience of discovery and experimentation because the children did not accept with so much pleasure to taste foods different from those they are accustomed to. We know that we must work harder to share our appreciation for vegetables.

An encouraging initiative

Thanks to this workshop, the children of the community of El Cubinche were able to learn about the effort it takes to bring food to the table, all the tradition and culture that keeps this process. In addition to seeing the garden as a living ecosystem, in which everything is related, each thing is an integral part of the earth, everything complements each other, nothing can survive without the other. So if we take care of the garden, the plants and animals that live there, nature will be reciprocal and will take care of us, whether in the garden or the planet itself.

In the future, we want to organize other workshops with children, young people or adults to raise awareness about agroecology and the need to take care of the environment. Next time we would like to do a workshop to learn how to cook with a wide variety of vegetables or to build an insect house in order to preserve biodiversity on the farm.

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