World Wetlands Day 2003: Paraguay


Initiating Awareness Raising in the Paraguayan Chaco

Reported by: Francesca de Cabrera, CEPA Programs
Foundation   wwd2003-paraguay2m.jpg.jpg (795 bytes)   DeSdel Chaco

On April 9th the CEPA team of the Foundation DeSdel Chaco embarked upon the first round of awareness raising efforts covering 300km of dirt roads in the Chaco with the objective of making contact with high schools of the area and to follow up with organized awareness raising classes in the next semester. The success of the pilot-awareness raising classes carried out in Loma Plata and Neuhof has been very rewarding, and the CEPA team of DeSdel Chaco has begun analyzing the possibilities of extending CEPA activities to communities located further south in the Chaco in areas of fresh water wetlands subject to frequent flooding. Despite similarities in language, the Mennonite Communities of the southern Chaco have wetland ecosystems that are completely different from the Riacho Yakaré Sur watershed and its area of influence, where pilot activities have already been initiated. The variety of cultural and natural experiences in the Chaco presents different contexts and this has emphasized the need to tailor CEPA activities to best reach target our audiences.

Escuela (Decoud Larrosa) Villa Chóferes del Chaco

Instituto de Formación Docente- Filadelfia

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Humedales Lolita- Menno Sur Colegio Secundario Neuland

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Colegio (Nuestra Señora de la Paz) Villa Chóferes del Chaco Puente Rio Verde

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Bolsa de Humedales Escuela (Decoud Larrosa) Villa Chóferes del Chaco

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High school students from the town of Neuhof

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Wetland students at Neuhof Discussing wetland nutrients in a local high school

These initial contacts with local Radio Stations, Indigenous Cooperative Centers, High School Directors and Institutes for Educators spread out all over the areas of the Mennonite Colonies of the Chaco (Neuland, Fernheim and Menno) provided an important launching point for future wetland CEPA activities. In total 12 institutes were contacted and these interchanges were supplemented with the distribution of educational materials, posters and brochures from the Ramsar Bureau in addition to brochures and posters designed by the Fundación Desdel Chaco to commemorate Chaco wetlands. Follow up visits are planned for the coming months with a special delivery: Wetland CEPA posters in German!

Institutions contacted:
Radio ZP30- Filadelfia
Asociación de Servicios de Cooperación Indígena-Menonita-Filadelfia
Colegio Secundario Filadelfia
Instituto de Formación Docente- Filadelfia
Colegio Departamental Boquerón
Colegio Secundario Neuland
(Centro de Formación Hogar y Nutrición) Neuland
Colegio (Nuestra Señora de la Paz) Villa Chóferes del Chaco
Escuela (Decoud Larrosa) Villa Chóferes del Chaco
Colegio Lolita
Colegio Paratodo

These activities carried out by the Foundation DeSdel Chaco are supported by USAID, TNC, and the Ramsar Wetlands for the Future Funds, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and US Department of State.

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