Chile YCW: Third Edition of the Summer School Week on Environment with a YCW Approach

The third edition of the Summer School Week on Environment took place from January 21 to 27 at the El Quisco YCW Retreat House, located on the picturesque hillsides of the Valparaiso region. This week-long educational event aims to have an impact on the reality of young people and children, focusing on environmental issues that threaten our territories and affect our lives in significant ways. Its key objective is to offer an enriching educational experience focused on environmental awareness and community action.

A total of 25 people signed up to take part in the week, including young people, adults and community members keen to learn more about environmental protection and sustainable development.

During the event, several debates and dialogue tables took place, for instance on the defense of territories and ecofeminism. Those spaces allowed participants to address issues related to the protection of our ecosystems and joint actions with other organizations. These discussions were an opportunity to share experiences, debate ideas and explore strategies to strengthen environmental defense and promote gender equality in this field. The active participation of those present demonstrated the community’s interest in and commitment to seeking sustainable solutions to environmental challenges.

“For me, as a teacher, it’s a privileged moment to impart and provide learning outside the traditional classroom, a space where young people can be in contact with nature. In addition, the workshop program offered an educational proposal that enabled young people to reflect on the problems of their communities and to acquire skills for community living.” (Camila C, Chile YCW)

In addition to these encounters, there were some wonderful spaces for reflection with the young people present, where the essence and values of the Chilean YCW were shared. These moments showed the importance of social commitment and collective action in building a fairer, more sustainable world. Thanks to the dynamics, testimonies and participative activities, meaningful links were forged between participants, and the sense of belonging to a community committed to protecting the environment and promoting social justice was strengthened.

“It was an excellent opportunity to share knowledge about the importance of ecosystems and to be able to pass it on to future generations.” (Nicolás, screen-printing workshop facilitator, El Quisco YCW)

“The Summer School Week on Environment organized by the YCW is an excellent opportunity to make visible the actions we carry out. This time many young people were present, which is great because we can bring them closer to the YCW and show them that it’s possible to organize to find different ways of demanding a dignified life in an unpolluted environment.” (Nicol Urrea, national coordinator)

During the week, a series of practical workshops were also held, offering participants the chance to enjoy a variety of enriching experiences. Pottery workshops explored ancient clay modelling techniques, while mural painting workshops embellished our daycare center with artistic expressions inspired by nature and the community. Workshops were also held on community vegetable gardens, where knowledge was shared on how to grow food sustainably, and screen-printing workshops provided an opportunity to learn about printing techniques that use eco-friendly inks. Those activities fostered teamwork, creativity and respect for the environment, enriching the experience of all participants.

“In my view, creating objects in clay enabled us to discover our manual skills and deal with our frustrations by discovering and learning something new. What’s more, the workshop was seen by participants as a space where we could learn to accept making mistakes, analyze our behavior when something doesn’t work for us, and try again. Furthermore, it should be noted that this is a space for youth, in which people from different regions and realities took part.” (Marcelo Castillo V., El Quisco YCW)

The summer school provides a unique platform for environmental education and action. Participants were enthusiastic about putting the "See-Judge-Act" method into practice, enabling them not only to learn about environmental issues, but also to become actively involved in finding solutions. The event also provided a valuable opportunity to raise awareness and introduce new young people to the movement. The formation of new networks and the strengthening of existing Chilean YCW networks were key aspects of the week, with the creation of stronger community links and collaboration on future environmental initiatives.

“This week was an excellent opportunity to present some of our ecological actions linked to living well and protecting our environment, a very important theme for our movement since living well is one of the areas of action we work on. We were also able to observe the young people's interest in practicing and learning about this theme, which gives us a starting point to begin working with them.” (José Arévalo, national coordinator)

It was a success in terms of participation and commitment. The implementation of the See-Judge-Act method enabled participants to acquire knowledge and practical skills to deal effectively with environmental issues. The project not only provided training on environmental issues, but it also enabled young people to practice the review of life. Through critical reflection on their relationship with the environment and their community, participants were encouraged to take stock of their values, beliefs and actions in relation to sustainable development and protecting the planet.

In addition, the summer school on environment served as a starting point for the development of new lines of action. Participants were encouraged to engage in new environmental initiatives and projects within their communities, in the hope of creating a lasting and positive impact on the environment and society. We hope that this experience will continue to be an annual tradition, encouraging more people to commit to sustainability and the defense of our territories, as well as to strengthen community work and the training of new generations of environmental leaders.

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