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Symbolic Monarchs in Mexico
By Estela Romero

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Overview | One | Two | Three | Four | Five

 
 
Lázaro Cárdenas Elementary La Salud Community, Ejido Angangueo, Michoacán

This school is the nearest to El Rosario Sanctuary from the Ejido Angangueo itself. It might be one of the oldest schools in the region, since most others are relatively new.

Lazaro Cardenas school Lazaro Cardenas school Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration: Classroom Images
Students eager to help unload. View of the school. Fifth grade classroom.
Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration: Classroom Images Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration: Classroom Images Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration: Classroom Images
Shy students. Learning about the monarch life cycle.  
Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration: Classroom Images Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration: Classroom Images Symbolic Monarch Butterfly Migration: Classroom Images
  Fifth graders showing off their Ambassador butterflies. Sixth grade students study the monarch life cycle with cards.
6th graders 6th graders Most schools around the sanctuaries did not exist 25 years ago. The few children in the area who attended school then had to walk down to Angangueo. This could have taken two hours, so very few families could make this effort, and many children hardly learned to read and write. Nowadays, the farthest communities all over our region count on a school.
A typical classroom at Lazaro Cardenas. Sixth graders proudly displaying their symbolic butterflies.
 
Rancho Escondido School (Junior High), Telesecundaria, Ranchero Escodido Community,
El Rosario
school view school view school view
Rancho Escondido from a distance. The school is like our junior high schools with levels 1, 2 and 3. Walking near the school.
school view classroom classroom
Typical scene near school. One of the classrooms Older student walking to school.
classroom classroom classroom

Upper level students.

All levels from school display their Ambassador butterflies.
 
La Salud (Junior High), Telesecundaria, Ejido Angangueo, Michoacán
View of school View of school View of school
The region is hilly, and the school sits near the top of one of the hills. A level area, carved out of the hill, has been made for playing games. Students are writing letters back to their new friends.
View of school View of school View of school
     

Notice the box of pinatas in the classroom? Christmas is near.

All three levels of this junior high-level school are grouped together for their picture.

It is Christmas and pinatas are part of the local celebrations throughout Mexico.

View of school View of school View of school
Elderly people in the region are still active and strong. Besides monarch tourism, agriculture is one of the main activities, mostly growing food for home consumption. The region is very Catholic and often people make shrines for worship.
 
Melchor Ocampo Elementary El Puerto Community, Ejido Angangueo, Michoacán
Estela had not visited this school before. She writes, "I simply did not know how to reach this place - which road I should travel. They told me it was actually unaccessible!"
School on hill

School on hill

School on hill
The school had not been visited for at least four years,so these children greeted JN for the first time. Fourth, fifth, and sixth graders from this hillside school gathered to meet with Estela. The students enjoyed writing letters to their new friends in the US and Canada.
School on hill School on hill School on hill
Students were delighted to learn about Monarchs' life-cycle.   Can you find your butterfly?
School on hill local wood local wood
Once in a while monarchs appear in this area near small, sunny streams. Until about 20 years ago low-scale wood cutting was just for home use. Today many in this area are involved with wood-consuming industries.
 
Emiliano Zapata Elementary School San Antonio Community, Ejido Angangueo
View of school View of school View of school
Can you find YOUR butterfly? This small school is close to neighboring farms.

This is mixed age school, like a one- room school house, first through sixth grades learn together.

View of school View of school View of school
Fewer than 10 students fill the school. Students label monarch body parts. Then they write a bit about themselves.
View of school View of school View of school
One girl's mom attends school, too, so she can learn to read and write. The teacher works with everyone so they can learn. The small library of the school is in the corner of the only classroom.
View of school View of school View of school

It is challenging to teach lessons to students of different levels.

Families in the area grow much of their own food.

The students locate their area and study the range of the monarch on the map.
Redención del Campesino Elementary San Cristóbal Community, Edijo El Rosario
View of the school

View of the school

View of the school
The school entrance.

The school has lots of common area outside the classrooms.

Students are delighted with the letters and gifts the symbolic monarchs bring.
View of the school View of the school View of the school
Receiving their butterflies is really neat. Group photo of fifth and sixth graders with the Ambassador butterflies. Break time!
View of the school View of the school View of the school
 

Snacks are available to purchase during break.

Many organizations are working to get healthy snacks in the schools.
Students do not bring any electronic games to school. A tablet or an iPhone, for example, are devices practically unknown in our region, even among us working adults,either in town, or at schools around in our communities. I (Estela) have seen one person with an iphone in town. I am sure soon some youngsters or professionals in town whose families may have the way to afford such devices will start to get them, since there is a kind of fever to get them and be the one.
 


18 de Marzo Elementary El Paso Village, Ejido Ocampo
School School School
The date this school bears for a name --March 18, 1936--, commemorates the day when oil and all resources extracted from Mexican soil were nationalized by decree. Now, 70 years later, the oil industry has been declared open again to foreign investment by decree, which has caused a really big controversy in our country.
School School School
Children openly participate in sharing their own views about monarch habitat perservation. Students are quite aware of the importance of preserving nature and habitat for their area. Students made comments like: "unfortunately we still continue cutting trees...it is a shame that our parents still have to make a living from wood cutting...the day Monarchs do not come back, we will regret it."
 
20 de Noviembre Elementary Ocompo town area, Ejido El Rosario, Michoacán
school school school
It has been a few years since Journey North visited this school. Each year there are more schools than there are symbolic butterflies to take to all the sanctuary area schools. Inside the classroom is a lesson on labeling the monarch life cycle stages.
school school school
It is so exciting to see all the butterflies and share the contents! Each butterfly is different and it is fun to see them all! Some students share what they've written about them and their families.
school school school
Now students write back to their new friends in the US and Canada. These boys are working together. All the students in this 5th and 6th grade group write letters. Students (5 and 6 grade) pose with their symbolic monarch ambassadors.
Estela writes: An average of 5-6 schools remain every year without a visit due to the numerous schools in our region and the high population in most of them. Allow me to invite US and Canadian schools to continue participating in the project which is leaving such an important "green seed" in our youth as a contribution to the environmental survival of this important ecological region.
 
Presidente Calles Elementary Los Trojes, Ocampo Town, Michoacán
School School School

Ocampo town, is an important school to visit since the municipality owns all rights for the regulations and economic flow that the El rosario Sanctuary generates--.

Lessons in monarch conservation. Grades 5 and 6.

School School School
All children enjoy to tears opening their symbolic Monarchs and finding a nice letter, the photo of their US and Canadian counterparts and the little gift coming directly from so far away.
School School School
Can you see your butterfly?
 
 
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