The Metropolitan School of Panama Comes to Centro Mamoni for Hikes and Workshops

By Kael Shipman 1 April, 2014

Earth Train Founder and Co-Executive Director Nathan Gray explains the logistics at the MET Students swimming and playing at Junglewood Falls in Earth Train's Mamoni Valley Preserve MET Principal Rick Hengelbrok Anne Gregg with student Marcos Acosta Students help each other up the rapids Earth Train's Mark Knetsch poses with student Marcos Acosta by the river Gerardo Ochoa joined us from Mexico to help out with this visit Nathan Gray explains the context in which Earth Train and the Mamoni Valley Preserve are situated Nathan Gray explains the origin of the materials we use in Earth Train constructions like Casa Aguila, shown here A MET student shares some musical talent MET students participating in the Creative Writing workshop A team building a bamboo "star dome" MET teacher Victor Simone singing some Bob Marley The students helped frame two of Earth Train's new garden patches Here, several students, led by Principal Rick Hengelbrok, excavate around a giant rock Students passed rocks up from the creek bed to the garden to form the beds Three students roll another giant rock to fortify the bank of the creek Getting creative with flashlights Group photo on the heli pad

The Metropolitan School of Panama brought 43 of its 9th and 10th graders to Earth Train's Centro Mamoni for 4 days of workshops, activities and hikes from the 26th through the 29th of March. The visit was a blast, starting with our customary visit to Junglewood falls and a day of adjusting to the facilities and the microclimate in the Valley.

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In thirty years of leading middle and high school field trips and expeditions in over a dozen countries, this was the best I've ever been on.

- Rick Hengelbrok, Principal, The MET

The following days were full of hiking adventures, waterfalls, fun and interesting workshops, a little Hard Physical Labor, good food, good music and a lot of laughs. Enjoy the photos above, and check out more on our facebook page!

This was a big visit, and we'd like to recognize and thank everyone who helped make it possible, especially our volunteers, Mike Yarek, Dereck Monette, Gerardo Ochoa and Sam Sucre. Thanks also to Catriona White, Catarina da Rosa and Leonarda for holding down the kitchen; to Atala Beckford and Delia Cedeño for logistical support and for holding down the base back in Ciudad del Saber; to Mark Knetsch, Kandi Valle, Carlos Andrés Gonzalez, Rolando Toribio, Luis Carlos Sánchez, Gabriel Salazal, Nathan Gray, Giuseppe Villalaz, Kael Shipman and the paramedics Seibert Bonilla and Alejandra Hernández for important contributions in our programming and on-site logistics; and to Rick Hengelbrok and the MET crew for being great guests and true collaborators. Great job Earth Train team, great job MET team, great job students and participants, and we look forward to more adventures in the not-so-distant future!

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