By Sherling Guerrero Fenandez
Grade 10 student, San Andres, BOSAWAS, Nicaragua
I was born in the San Andres community in the BOSAWAS. I really like living in my community, because of the tranquility of living directly with nature. Soccer is my favorite sport, but walking in the woods with my uncles and cousins is something I also love to do.
Despite living in a community without access to technology like in big cities, I have learned to use technology recently thanks to the educational technology project that was implemented in my community. I was able to learn to use the computer, and it has helped us a lot to have access to a digital library.
At first it was not easy to use the technology, since we were dealing with something totally new. Before the arrival of the project, a couple of years ago, a phone signal was installed in the community, which allowed some of us to start using cell phones, but it was a slow process. That skill was further improved with the education project, as we learned how to download and transfer documents and files.
Working with forest rangers to document our territory is a new process for me. This is the first time we are collaborating. I am excited about the new experience and the knowledge I am gaining from them, but I am also embarrassed to realize how little I know about my territory. I have learned many new things from interacting with the forest rangers, like the names of places that I did not know before.
Knowing the boundaries of my territory, as well as the stories of the struggles over the years to defend our land is something I would not have known had it not been for partnering with the forest rangers.
The knowledge that the forest rangers possess is invaluable, and although I feel that the part I play is small, they have appreciated my helping them to better use the MAPEO software on the cell phones. It gives me some joy to know that I am contributing in that way.
I think it is very important to address the importance of protecting the BOSAWAS, because the next generations depend on the actions we take today. If the actions we take are the right ones, the next generations will thank us and live to do the same. I believe that we must be the examples ourselves.
I am grateful to the territorial government and Change for Children for this opportunity to participate in a project in defense of Mother Earth, without losing sight of the importance of encouraging women to be part of the solutions. I hope that more opportunities like this will continue to emerge, so that more young people in the community will know the value of conserving nature.