Meanwhile back in Ecuador

Last week I wrote about the first week of our new group of four. We met again yesterday to continue our simulation game based in a farming village in the Ecuadorian rainforest. The children are beginning to role play a little more. The session started with more discussion about the possibility of beginning an Eco-tourism project and the eco-tourism specialists were asked to address a village meeting so questions could be asked and proposals be voted on.

The village members voted to try the eco-tourism project and the with the help of the specialists were able to raise the initial investment money. Some of the children are keen to try eco-tourism because they are concerned about the rainforest, but many are simply hoping it will be more lucrative than farming. As the adults discussed the session afterwards we wondered if some people are so poor that thinking environmentally is not a luxury they can afford.

The eco-tourism specialists asked for two workers to join their team and run the project with them. Six out of the eight farmers applied and were given thirty seconds to say why they would be the best choice. Those chosen then had to change their farming plans as they would be working full time with the eco-tourism project. Final decisions were made and round one ended. The children spent some time making clay sculptures and eating South American snacks while the mums calculated each player’s income for the “first year”. Income included money from crops, return on eco-tourism investment, wages for the eco-tourism workers and an education rebate for those who had their children in school.

The feedback we, as mums, are getting from the children is positive and the development in the discussion shows us that the children are beginning to consider the implications of their decisions on the village as well as their own families. The children are very keen to know how they went financially but they will have to wait until the beginning of round two.

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