AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
By Carolina Ferreira, Guide at Cabo Trek Tours
From helping a newborn turtle into the ocean to swimming with whale sharks, Cabo offers a wide range of wildlife tours that are children friendly, helping not only to build a bridge between the concept of environment and the young indoor generations, but also creating the perfect opportunity for early environmental education.
According to the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico, the concept of environmental education is based in five fundamental pillars: knowledge gain, social and emotional skills, motivation, civic interest and engagement and academic skills, all of which are fundamental in the construction of a conscious and caring citizen.
The benefits of environmental education are not just for the society, but also for one’s individual health, since it is known that the effects of “nature deficit disorder” are reflected in increasing child obesity rates and declining academic scores.
It is known that children require exercise to develop, both physically and mentally.
As innate scientists, they love to experience textures, scents, sounds, etc. and nature is, doubtless, the number one source of opportunities for discovery, creativity and problem- solving. Interacting with natural environments allows children to learn by doing, from trying and failing. When in nature, children question and make hypotheses which will help to develop resilience, confidence and tolerance towards failure. Whether they’re judging the distance they will have to walk between the two seats of a boat or considering where the humpback whales go in the summer, children are constantly thinking when in nature.
Being outside feels good as it gives children a chance to self-express in ways that are normally forbidden indoors even thought that, when in a public tour, rules and restrictions still apply and will have to therefore be respected, specially when considering the wide spectrum of background cultures and habits as one would experience when taking a wildlife tour in Cabo. It is the perfect opportunity to learn the boundaries inside social relationships.
In addition, the only way to to raise adults who are passionate about preserving our planet is to grow in them a deep love for it, we care for what we know.
In conclusion, to have an opportunity to take a child on a wildlife tour is not only a privilege, given that not many places in the world will offer such option, but is also an important to increase children health whist cooperating to create more engaged citizens for the future. *