Planting Seeds in Honduras

In August 2019, I collaborated with my friends Patch of Heaven Sanctuary Executive Director, Frederick Hubbard, and FitKids of America Executive Director, Rhonda Smith, to establish the Environmental Awareness Academy, Inc. (EAA).  The vision for the Environmental Awareness Academy is to empower youth around the world to become more resilient and self-sufficient through environmental education.  This program blends the best of GEN2050 with a program focus on children and youth most at risk for migration to the United States due to the lack of educational, medical, and nutritional resources in their home country, as well as young people who are seeking asylum in the United States. Although the COVID-19 pandemic brought about a slowdown to our plans, we began a pilot program at Norland Middle School in Miami Gardens, Florida in January 2021.

And now, EAA is expanding its work in Miami-Dade County, Florida to San Juan de Flores, Honduras through the implementation of an innovative STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Culture, and Mathematics) project entitled “From Hive to Table”. The target audience for the “From Hive to Table” is under-resourced youth, male and female, ages 14 through 21 years old, at-risk for migration to the United States, living in the region of San Juan de Flores, Francisco Morázon, Honduras. Recruitment of the first cohort of eight students has begun.

The “From Hive to Table” project will:

*Educate under-served, under-resourced youth residing in San Juan de Flores, Francisco Morazán, Honduras in the environmental sciences and horticultural sciences required to restore indigenous plants required for honey bees to thrive in San Juan de Flores.

*Train them to become beekeepers

*Provide the opportunity for them to maintain honey bee hives with the purpose of harvesting honey to sell in bulk.

*Provide them with financial literacy education to become entrepreneurs.

*Receive educational supports to ensure they remain in school.

In addition to the “From Hive to Table” project for students ages 14 through 21 years old, EAA will provide educational services for children, male and female, ages 5 through 13 through its “Planting the Seed” Project. These younger students will be provided with educational supports to ensure they remain in school. As of April 28, 2021, seven elementary school students are enrolled in this program. Each student was recommended by a local teacher and a family assessment of need was conducted independently.

If you are interested in joining EAA to financially support children and youth in San Juan De Flores with these innovative programs, please follow this link: DONATE TO EAA!

(photo credits: Linda Freeman, Patch of Heaven Sanctuary, Redland, FL., GEN2050 NATGEO BioBlitz April 23, 2021.)

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