Advance the Green Brigade -- Ecological Education for Dominican Youth Multipliers

Year: 2013
Country: Dominican Republic
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Health
Project Investment: $1,183.70

Project Launch:

Brigada Verde, a youth environmental group, has been working in Tres Ceibas, Dominican Republic for the past year to promote protecting the environment. They have attended lectures on environmental topics, conducted school, river, and beach clean-ups, taught art using recycled materials and painted signs to discourage littering and encourage respect for their small schoolyard garden. Brigada Verde also regularly holds cooking classes, with the support of a local Peace Corps Volunteer, in which they harvest produce from the school garden and cook it to create nutritious, tasty meals. With additional support from World Connect, the group will expand and enhance the organic schoolyard garden by building a pump to improve the garden’s irrigation system, and they will promote the installation of household gardens throughout the community to increase food security. They will also build small, energy-saving solar ovens out of cardboard, aluminum foil, and other inexpensive materials as a demonstration for the community, and will use trash collected during regular cleanup days to make decorative art pieces, musical instruments and practical items such as reusable shopping bags. The group currently irrigates the school garden by carrying buckets of water a great distance, taking time out of the school day. This project will not only increase “eco-literacy” in the community, but will also be a revenue generating opportunity as the group has an agreement in place to sell high-quality basil it produces to a restaurant in the nearby town of Cabarete on a weekly basis.


Project Update:

The school garden was expanded and has raised RD $1,350 from selling basil to the local restaurant. 12 home gardens have been created, allowing families increased access to homegrown nutritious produce. During the project, there was increased interest from the community, and community members who were not part of Brigada Verde took initiative and created their own home gardens, sometimes even without tools.

The youth group was offered the indefinite use of a neighbor’s water pump, so the money budgeted for the water pump was allocated to enhance field trips and to design tee shirts. The youth attended three field trips, all which provided a stimulating learning experience and promoted environmental stewardship, sustainable agriculture, and bioregional knowledge. Solar ovens have been built and students have been taught how to use them. A graduation ceremony was held where the community leaders distributed certificates and prizes, which included reusable water bottles and school notebooks.



“My favorite part of Brigada Verde is the knowledge I acquire every time about the environment, and I love the field trips. At Laguna Dudu I learned that the lagoon is a result of the erosion of limestone, that it is 107 feet deep, and that there is a cave there where Taino Indians lived.” – Perla, 22, Project Participant
“I feel very grateful for the support to start my garden and to take the field trips. I learned a lot at the Brigada Verde conferences. I have already given several talks about the environment and I hope to continue being a promoter of caring for the environment.” – Ana, 18, Project Participant

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