Latino Earth Partnership (Colaboración Ambiental) is a synthesis of the UW-Madison Arboretum’s Earth Partnership for Schools (EPS) program with Spanish language and Latino cultures and communities in the U.S. The partnership brings together educators, parents, organizations and resources to link environmental concerns to academic achievement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), health, social studies, languages and the arts. Teams are working in schools and communities in 21 states and Puerto Rico with a K-20 curriculum that extends across discipline, ecosystem, culture and place. Teams from Puerto Rico were trained in 2009 at the Arboretum, implementing projects on Vieques and Culebra islands. We are currently in the process of programming LEP in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and with Madison’s Sister City, Tepatitlán de Morelos, Mexico.
Here in Madison, Latino Earth Partnership has worked with Centro Hispano’s Escalera Program for High School students. By collaborating with Centro Hispano’s existing Juventud Program, Centro is able to bring additional human and community resources to this project, helping EPS to leverage even greater community impact. Through this program we offered Earth Partnership Arboretum Day with the purpose of exposing their 17 high school students to the field of ecological restoration, environmental education and careers.
LEP also offered an Escalera intern an Environmental and Ecological Restoration Internship (summer 2013). The intern, Cassandra Lee-Limas worked with the Earth Focus Day Camps, attended our College For Kids: Learning from the Land camp, and did fieldwork as part of the land crew. The overall goal was to provide the intern with a variety of experience in environmental education, ecological restoration, and career opportunities through observation, participation, and hands-on experience.
LEP also hosted a college student intern this past summer. Sadie Coughlin-Prego, a sophomore at Earlham College in Indiana, was involved in the following: compiling demographic profiles for the schools in Madison with Spanish speaking populations, translating 6 EPS activities to Spanish Language, and participating in ecological restoration and hands on learning at the Arboretum.
Maria del Carmen Moreno, Ph.D.
Earth Partnership Multicultural Outreach Specialist