Issue - December 2007

December 2007

In this month's issue Arnold Brauwer tells us about Ariel's Garden. Amy Stillman and Save the Children's new CD. Walter Sanchéz enlightens us with a history on Religious Popular Art andfinally Emanuele Norsa returns with an article on Elio Nina's more...

December 2007

Ariel's Garden

Ariel shows us that the program “Huertos Educativos” is supplementary to the theory and practice they had at school.

Arnold Brouwer
Director “Huertos Educativos Cochabamba”

Ariel Aymoro is one of the students in Seventh grade of Carlos Medinacelli school who is participating in the school garden program with a lot of enthusiasm. Ariel is an intelligent boy 15 years old who gets along well with his fellow students. Recently, he established his own garden. He invited me to his home to show me his garden and tell me a bit more about this successful story of the school garden program “Huertos Educativos Cochabamba”.

The history of Ariel is a typical story for a lot of families in the “Zona Sur” of Cochabamba. Ariel is one of Benita Pozo’s six children. Mrs Pozo has a few brothers and sisters who live on the small property of the family Pozo in Mizque. After living in different places like Santa Cruz and Carrasco (Chapare), Mrs. Pozo settled in Cochabamba where she is taking care of the small property of one of her nieces who migrated to Spain in order to earn money a year ago. They are living close to the school on a small terrain more or less 100 meters from the road. Ariel’s stepfather is a construction worker and his mother washes clothes for money to raise Ariel and his elder sister. She owns about 50 eurocents a dozen for washing clothes.

The house where they live is a simple cement and brick construction, with a door but without windows in the window frames. The house only has electricity and is not connected to the drinking-water network nor the sewage system. Recently, the water well contains water again because Ariel and his stepfather have deepened the improvised well a little bit more.

In order to make his small protected garden, Ariel used old wood slabs, that were piled up aside the house, connected with iron wire. Besides that, the 12 square meter garden is covered with a shade screen made out of flour sacks sewn together. This shade screen prevents the plants from drying out during the warmest part of the day.

Noticing his necessities, Ariel recently sold his first harvest of spinach in order to help his mother. At this moment the garden contains coriander, onion, spinach and quillquiña. He is trying to grow avocado from seed as well. The only tool he is using is a small pick axe. Because of lack of financial means he has not been able to optimize his garden management yet.

This example of Ariel’s garden shows us that the school garden program of “Huertos Educativos” is more than just theory and practice at school. There are plenty of families and students for whom a small vegetable garden could offer something extra. It can be a way to improve the livelihood within the daily routine of housekeeping. This interesting experience makes us believe that the school garden program truly is a program that serves a greater purpose. It also convinces us that the children will make good use of the seeds that we donated to every school garden student at the end of the school year.

Mano a mano Bolivia
Mano a Mano Bolivia is an organization that aims to alleviate and promote health, education and social development in the impoverished areas by building schools, health centres, roads, runways and distributing medical supplies. At present this organization has built 79 health centres, 30 educative infrastructures (schools buildings, bathrooms and teacher housing) and several roads and air strips...
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