Creating the Facilities
Since 2006 an orchard has been planted with seventy different types of fruit, thousands of native trees have been, and many more are to be planted, a house/diner and a visitors cabin have been built, a 40m3 rainwater tank and solar energy installed and two composting toilets, a nursery and some landscaping have been done. The Arboretum of 500 native forest tree species is only 30% completed. Five native bee species so far have been captured for honey production and the conservation of them and the trees they pollinate. The botanic gardens have been started and various other educational installations such as a Jungle Labyrinth, a senses trail and a canopy walk, still need to be created. An extensive photographic catalogue of all the wildlife of Selva Chi is steadily growing. Seed collection trips for the nursery are regular. Work continues as fast as resources permit but help is always welcome.
In 2008 Selva Chi was instrumental in training a group of 14 Life Savers and forming the Muisne Surf Life Saving Club which now patrols the Muisne beach every weekend. A similar club also including Adventure Sports is planned for El Cabo de San Francisco. Members will learn and Practice Swimming and other sports associated with Life Saving, Rescue and First Aid, Hiking, Camping, Snorkelling, Cycling and Mountain Biking. If sponsorship permits, this may extend to Kayaking, Abseiling, Scuba, Sailing or Hanggliding which are all potentially viable in the area. By participating in such activities community members develop skills and confidence in the outdoors which help form stronger bonds with nature. Also, with time these experiences will help breakdown common fears about nature.
The main reason for many local people making bad decisions with their lives and the resources around them is that they are poorly educated. Understanding, Research skills, Creativity, Perseverance, Care, and Responsibility are all skills that open doors to alternatives to natural resource destruction as income sources.
Local people are often very observant, but to explain what they observe, they usually draw on gossip, “old wives tales” or even superstitions due to a lack of access to reliable information. 2012 saw the initiation of El Colegio del Buen Vivir which is a series of courses for local adults. At different times there are weekend courses on such topics as:
Shool Camps on site will be the main work of Selva Chi in the long term. Local, national and international students will be welcome to taste Selva Chi life while learning through a range of activities that challenge and sensitise. Here it is believed that lessons in life have multiple layers of meaning and courses employ a holistic approach: teaching bodies, minds and spirits at the same time. Courses will be tailored to the needs of students and may include some or all of the following areas: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Agriculture, Design and Geometry, Art, Crafts, English, Spiritual, Drama, Music, Team Challenges, Swimming, Hiking, Physical Challenge Activities, Reafforestation, and Inter-cultural experiences.
Participants will observe, explore, draw, dissect and integrate, hypothesise and demonstrate, swim and swing, calculate and construct, compete, share and compare, design and regenerate, plant and harvest, dramatise and create, climb and hoist, even meditate and celebrate in individual, team and whole group activities. No doubt they will take away many fond memories from this unique experience.
Crafts Workshop, Kitchen and Small Business Support
In 2014 a workshop is hoped to be built to cater for fine woodwork and carving, natural jewellery making, basketry, pottery, sowing or possibly other arts or crafts. This may extend to a food preparation, drying and packaging site. This would give local people a skill with which to earn a dignified living without having to destroy the forest, steal or sell other people’s land as are common income sources. It is hoped that each family would learn a different skill to be able to form a small independent business. The final step would be to help obtain an outlet for the product.
In the future Selva Chi hopes to stimulate the tradition of having a monthly fair in the region where farm produce, crafts, second-hand goods, buskers and sporting abilities will all be on display. This aims to stimulate local culture and economy.