Temas Especiales

05 de Jul de 2022


Environmental work in Atalaya

PANAMA. Civil society in the town of Atalaya, located in Veraguas, is a living example that unity is the key to success.

PANAMA. Civil society in the town of Atalaya, located in Veraguas, is a living example that unity is the key to success.

The local community alongside different environmental organizations have together become the “earth’s guardians” through a project whose objective is to mitigate the effects of climate change and preserve a healthy environment.

Reaching an ideal forest in the Atalaya region by planting “jacaranda” and “guayacanes” trees has become the main challenge for government authorities, teachers, students, and citizens of this region, who have joined their efforts to transform the quality of life for current and future generations.

“Salvemos la tierra” (“Let’s save the earth”) is an initiative supported by the National Environmental Association (ANAM), Shin Matsu Foundation, Eco Clubes, the Girl Scouts Association, and others.

They are currently working in the garden of the Atalaya middle school, which now holds various plant species.

Organizers are expecting to spread the initiative to other regions in the province.

Nilka de Calderon, coordinator of Eco Clubes, said that the group’s aim is to promote citizen awareness among children and youngsters alike to make them co-participants in the responsibility that environmental care and protection entails.

“Protecting the environment and those who live in it is our purpose,” said the biggest promoter of this program, Jorge Matsufuji, head of the Shin Matsu Foundation.

Last month, the Education Ministry donated $9,000 to help the community in the sustainable development of the middle school’s garden.

Additionally, the region’s mayor, Celestino Gonzalez, offered Eco Clubes the use of municipal transportation and 3,000 trees to continue developing the forest project.

For Veronica Vernaza, ANAM director, the purpose of this project is to sow the seed of environmental protection so it will pass from generation to generation.

The Atalaya middle school garden has been growing for seven years. However, until recently, the achievements had been small.

Last month, during “Earth Day,” the residents showed how through their will power and efforts they carried the project forward, serving as an example to other communities in both Veraguas and across the country.

Matsufuji called upon the wider Panamanian population to join the cause and said that other communities have expressed their interest to carry out a similar project, which shows that Veraguas could soon become one of the regions with the richest flora diversity in the country.

The Shin Matsu Foundation promotes conservation of natural resources. Its founder, Jorge Shimatsu, has tirelessly walked across Panama to raise awareness of the challenges that we face given climate change.

The environmentalist promotes environmental education among youngsters and children through different school activities.