MBF started supporting the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia in a project titled “Beyond the Mexico Book Project” in 2019. This project is an extension of Monarchs Across Georgia (MAG), a literacy program which began in 2003. Grade-level appropriate science and nature-based books written in Spanish will be purchased and delivered to schools near the monarch sanctuaries of El Rosario, Sierra Chincua, and Cerro Pelón during the school year coinciding with the monarch migration. Along with those books, a monarch-related environmental lesson will be presented by Estela Romero, a resident of Angangueo and Journey North collaborator. Students will learn about the monarch life cycle, the importance of the overwintering forest, their declining population and their relationship with other animals and plants, emphasizing the importance of forest conservation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic schools were closed during 2020 but once a week or every other week, teachers meet with students at the school to collect homework, exams, and answer questions. Taking advantage of this opportunity Estela delivered her lessons to students and meet with small groups in open areas in the communities. Estela is writing about her experiences on her Journey North blog.
In 2021 Journey North’s Estela Romero was able to make 53 school visits reaching 1,137 students! Most of the lessons were delivered in the communities in or surrounding the sanctuaries of Sierra Chincua and El Rosario. At the beginning of the overwintering season, on November 4, 2021, Ms. Romero gave her environmental lessons to over one hundred students in the elementary, middle, and high schools in Macheros.
Her lesson on the benefits of trees and the importance of forest conservation is demonstrated through models of degraded versus thriving forests in their ability to sustain wildlife, retain water, etc. Copies of the books Árboles: de la Semilla al Imponente Bosque (Trees: from Seed to Impressive Forest) and Escucha Hablar a los Árboles (Listen to the Trees Talk), were handed out. Estela’s blog is available at the Symbolic migration website where you will find detailed descriptions of her visits and more photos.