Recently students of grade two and three made a visit to the Atitlán Natural Reserve and Mariposario (butterfly sanctuary). Our day began with a short walk from the school down to the lake. We had the good fortune to be accompanied by some of the student’s mothers. We took a boat 20 minutes across lake Atitlán to an idyllic enclave in the town Panajachel. The boat trip itself it was a unique and unforgettable experience for some of the children who had never taken a boat before.
The Reserva Natural Atitlán has nature trails surrounded by breathtakingly beauty. The roads have hanging bridges over ravines and waterfalls. One such path runs along the area where spider monkeys and coatis (members of the raccoon family) live in freedom. We had the great fortune to visit them during lunch, their caregivers provided us with bananas to feed them. This moment was very special for everyone, we had lots of fun and learned about the nature and behavior of these animals.
Everyone was captivated while visiting the beautiful dome full of water, plants and flowers where butterflies live and reproduce. The students learned about the species living in the dome, especially about the Pan Ajachel butterfly, native of this geographic area and amazingly beautiful.
Before returning to school, everyone enjoyed a snack in the playground area. The mothers enjoyed playing and laughing with the children. As you can see in the pictures, beauty, learning and fun were at every moment part of the activity! Opportunities like this reinforce the value of experiential education, and the memories will certainly enliven their minds and hearts as they journey further into their education and development. We are looking forward to finding our next destination!