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Sustainable Summer Program Cultivates Tomorrow’s Leaders

What is your student planning on doing with their summer? Do they plan on hanging out by the pool? Getting a tan? The Sustainable Summer program invites all students to apply to take part in their organic farming program. It’s all about education, but also about fun. The program reaches out to high school students and offers the chance of a lifetime to study abroad in places such as Costa Rica or the Amazon Rainforest.

The program is designed to mold young minds of today into the leaders of tomorrow by providing a unique learning experience like very few have had the opportunity to experience. Don’t let the description of the program fool you, it’s not all fun, surf, and play. Students will learn practical skills about food systems and what it takes to implement sustainable practices by examining economic impacts that our food system has on the environment such as energy usage, land degradation, pollution, and public health issues.

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 Sustainable Summer Program

The Sustainable Summer program is split up into four segments to make up your learning experience.

The first segment of this year’s study abroad program will take part in the Tumbaco Valley where students will learn about sustainable production and consumption by working with local artisans and food producers who are shifting old forms of agriculture to the now important sustainable styles of food production.

The second segment takes students high into the highlands of the Andies where students will spend time in the Black Sheep Inn which is a world renowned eco-lodge which focuses on permaculture and tourism.

The third segment of the program takes students to the coastal town of Canoa to the Rio Muchacho Organic Farm in Ecuador where students will learn about agricultural sustainability and eco-tourism.  At this farm students will participate in a curriculum that highlights sustainable agriculture.

15638805666_399f919655_bThe final segment will take place at the Machalilla National Park and Isla de la Plata where they will be able to reflect on what they learned during the program and how they will take what they learned back to their communities and schools and share with others who may not be as knowledgeable about sustainable practices.

Even though this program is about education there is more than enough time set aside for students to connect with nature be it surfing, hiking, biking, or even horseback riding. There is plenty that can be done outside of the classroom where students are able to connect to the environment. By creating a deeper bond with the environment this program fosters students that might become the leaders of tomorrow’s environmental movement.

For more information on Organic Farming Sustainable Summer Programs please visit their website.

About The Author

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My name I Heather Sowalla. I have a passion for the environment starting from the time I was a young girl. I fell in love with hiking and fishing, even playing with bugs! As I grew older my passions began to develop into something that I could mold my education around. Starting with my undergrad degree I focused on fish and wildlife management which took me from central Pennsylvania the entire way to Alaska for an internship with the Student Conservation Association. After that I decided, due to health reasons, that I needed a change of pace and so I moved in a direction of sustainability, in particular agriculture and food security and now as I work through my internship - I plan on graduating in the Spring of 2015 with my Masters. What will I do after that? Well ... I'm not really sure. Maybe I will be the next great of the Environmental Era? Maybe not ... but I will do my best to try!