An Excursion to a Botanical Garden
One of the Valpo Surf Project‘s (VSP) main objectives is to encourage the youth of Valparaíso to have a healthy relationship with, as well as consciousness of, the environment. We believe that the beaches, ocean, and coastal territories of the area enable this wholesome interaction, but Chile’s Region V also provides other opportunities to have contact with the great outdoors. For this reason, the VSP took students from Cerro Toro, Mariposas and Montedónico to a botanical garden in the neighboring town of Viña del Mar. The afternoon was filled with exploration among forest, lagoons, and green lawns.
The group of 25 students started off the afternoon with a scavenger hunt activity. By splitting into smaller teams of 3-4 individuals the students were able to work together, use their creativity and discover a variety of landscapes and vegetation that the garden had to offer. Each team was given a list of 18 items to find and document with a photograph. From finding something in the park that was smaller than a thumb to finding an item from another country, the kids not only enjoyed keeping their eyes open for what was around them, but they were also excited to learn more information about plants that they may have in their own neighborhoods.
The students also had fun playing a collective game of capture the flag. Although two separate times each team uncovered the incorrect flag, the correct flag was eventually discovered by Barbara from Cerro Mariposa, earning a victory with the help of her teammates.
By encouraging inter-community interaction with excursions such as that to the botanical garden, the VSP is able to further strengthen the importance of personal development and character enrichment. Not only were the students able to breathe in the fresh air, but they were reaffirmed of the value of respect, trust, and teamwork.