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Jungle Adventures: Transforming Lives Through Exploration

  |   community programs, education, mental health, mexico

        In Mexico, an incredibly important holiday was just celebrated: Dia de los Ninos, or Day of the Children. Full of games and activities, Dia de los Ninos is a time to squeeze the children in our lives extra tight and reflect on how we can nurture and support them. The Entreamigos community observed the day in their Plaza del Sol, with a spirit of togetherness and special activities like face painting. At Entreamigos, children are cared for in a variety of different ways; not just on Dia de los Ninos, but on every day of the year.


        At Entreamigos, children in grades 2-6 who face behavioral and academic challenges are eligible to participate in the “Jungle Group”- an after-school program that provides diverse educational opportunities, tutoring, and mentoring. Since its inception, the Jungle Group has been an incredible resource for children who may need additional support. Volunteers and teachers of the program have crafted a holistic approach to creating this detailed support network, conducting meetings with parents and guardians, fostering a collaborative space for sharing insights and collectively exploring strategies that can be implemented at home. 


        Over the past few months, staff of the Jungle Group have worked hard to establish positive relationships between students through emotional development classes. This trimester, students focused on emotion recognition, fostering empathy towards others’ feelings, and offering sincere apologies. This has led to noticeable improvements in effective collaboration during group activities and a heightened commitment to school tasks. These positive transformations serve as a source of immense motivation for teachers and underscore the significant strides made each day.


        Recently, the Jungle Group had the extraordinary opportunity to partake in a truly unique experience – seeing whales in their natural habitat. This excursion was not only filled with fun but also served as an educational journey where they had the privilege to embark on a catamaran and delve into the wonders of the sea. The Jungle Group learned about various types of whales that inhabit the Pacific Ocean from October to March, their behaviors, the threats they face, conservation efforts, and their migration patterns. The students were fascinated to learn that whales migrate thousands of miles to give birth to their calves!


        The children were captivated by the mesmerizing sounds emitted by the whales. Through the use of a marine hydrophone submerged beneath the waves, they were able to listen in on the intricate communication between mother whales and their calves. For many, such adventures are beyond their everyday realities, igniting a profound sense of wonder and understanding about the importance of protecting the world around them.


        In addition to learning about marine life, the Jungle Group had the opportunity to visit an Orchid Garden. Led by Perla and Jose, the Jungle Group learned about the trees there, many of which were around 150 years old! Next, they stopped by the jaguar exhibit and enjoyed a delicious breakfast. Finally, while walking through the jungle and learning more about the different varieties of orchids, they arrived at a viewpoint that looked out across the ocean. 



Thanks to the Jungle Group, students are provided with amazing opportunities to learn more about the world around them and about themselves. They participate in a collaborative community while developing educationally, emotionally, and socially. The caring and hardworking staff of Entreamigos has built an empathetic environment that motivates and uplifts students; encouraging them to dream big and achieve their goals.