Guatemala Archives - Earth Charter

Course on public policies of education for sustainable development, UNESCO GAP on ESD

The final phase of the Course on Formulation and Design of Public Policies for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was held from 12 to 14 September 2017. This was a special course that we planned and implemented at the request of the UNESCO San Jose Office with the support from the Japan Fund for ESD. The course’s objective was to: “Strengthen the capacities of senior level decision-makers and key personnel in the Ministries of Education and Environment of Central America and Dominican Republic for the development of Education for Sustainable Development Public Policies.” This effort is related to the first priority area of the UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD and to the Sustainable Development Goal 4 Target 7.

Foto 16 Grupo

This course lasted three months (June to September), and had two modalities: face-to-face and virtual. The first part of the course consisted of face-to-face sessions for three intensive days, held at the Earth Charter Center of ESD facilities in the University for Peace, Costa Rica. It continued with a virtual phase that lasted seven weeks, where participants had the opportunity to deepen the topics introduced in the initial face-to-face phase. The course ended with a face-to-face meeting, also held at the EC-ESD Center in Costa Rica, where participants presented their final projects and proposed some actions to follow up this course.

In their assessment of the course, the participants mentioned having had a transformative experience, where some experienced a change in their worldviews and perception of the type of education that each country in the Central American Integration System (SICA) should promote. For their final projects, participants had to generate a proposal for an ESD public policy and an action plan for the design of this policy in their countries. These proposals were an exercise that it is expected to generate actions to instill the vision of ESD in their countries’ education systems.


Participante Curso Politicas Publicas Educacion Desarrollo Sostenible

For the Earth Charter Center on ESD, it was a great satisfaction to have developed this process in a way that helped participants to have a better understanding about sustainability, ESD and ways to generate a public policy on ESD. Some participants expressed that this experience help to generate what some called “a change of paradigm” or “falling in love” with sustainability. The majority of the participants are Ministry of Education officials who have the potential to promote changes in national education policy, curricula, as well as to promote sustainable schools and teacher training programs on ESD. We hope to continue supporting the empowerment process of these participants, so they become agents of change in their institutions and contribute to the 2030 UN Education Agenda.

Curso UNESCO Carta de la Tierra Politicas Educacion Desarrollo Sostenible

Logo UNESCO Japan

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The EC reaches students in Guatemala

Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.

ORCONDECO (Organization for Nature Conservation and Communitarian Development) is an organization n Guatemala that works since 2008 up to date in environmental – cultural education with Maya-Q´eqchi´(indigenous) communities in the region of Lachuá, Alta Verapáz.  Under the coordination of Marleny Rosales-Meda y María Susana Hermes Calderón, two Guatemalan biologists, the “Popular, Bilingual, Environmental- Cultural Education Program” was created.  This ladies work with 41 Q´eqchi´ native communities in different thematic areas which promote the preservation of the biological richness of the region as well as the rescue and revaluation of the local and traditional ancestral knowledge at a school, community and regional levels.  

From this macro and popular educational program it emerges another more specific program called “Environmental-Cultural School Education Program – PEACE” coordinated by Ms. Rosales Meda, one of the abovementioned biologists.  At PEACE they work with 53 schools from 41 communities at primary and secondary levels covering 75% of the communities that surround a protected area (Lachuá Lake National Park), teaching local children and youngsters the usefulness and importance of ecological, economical and cultural values and the existence of natural resources.  They are also motivated to participate and become allies of the conservation of the region. 

Several people, recognized in the document below, translated the children version of the Earth Charter into Maya-Q´eqchi´ language and have integrated its contents into a teaching unit of PEACE called the value of the Earth and interrelations of life, which will be taught in the month of September in these 53 schools.  As PEACE strategy to form qualified human resource at a local level, the biologists Rosales-Meda and Hermes Calderón, provide monthly training to the “guardarecursos” (resource keepers) of the Lachuá Lake National Park who multiply the effort in schools and basic education institutions as local environmental educators.

More Information at:
Earth Charter for children in Maya-Q´eqchi´ here
E-mails of project coordinators:  /

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La Salle, Central America and Panama, embraces the Earth Charter

On December 7th, 2009 a small meeting took place at La Salle University in San Jose, Costa Rica, with the purpose of signing a collaboration agreement between La Salle Distrito de Centroamérica and Earth Charter International. With this agreement, La Salle commits to disseminate and use the Earth Charter in different ways within its educational institutions (primary and secondary schools, universities and higher education centers) in the Central American region. The collaboration agreement was signed by Otto Armas Bonilla, Provincial Inspector; Mirian Vilela, Executive Director of the Initiative and Brother Oscar Azmitia Barranco, Rector of La Salle University, as honor witness.

La Salle Central America and Panama involves 30 educational institutions (schools and universities). We hope this agreement will evolve into a fruitful cooperative educational relationship. 

The La Salle Institution was founded about 300 years ago by St. John Baptist de La Salle and is now established throughout the world. The Brothers give themselves to the education of children, young people and also mature students. Worldwide they are present in 82 countries, (involving 80.000 educators and more than 5.000 Brothers) and have more than 1000 teaching establishments where 1.000.000 students are educated. For more information about this institution see

See the video of the signature here.

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Earth Charter youth network partners with Reto Juvenil Internacional

Earth Charter youth network and Reto Juvenil Internacional have started an exciting partnership; eight Canadian and Australian volunteers will be implementing Earth Charter inspired activities in rural Costa Rica for 10 weeks. The group is going to work with a local organization called Fundación Resplandecer, in the community of Coquitales de San Jorge, in Los Chiles. During the summer 2009 the same idea will be implemented in Guatemala as well.

The volunteers’ actions will be updated on Earth Charter youth blog during the summer 2009. It will be great to see what type of Earth Charter activities these young volunteers will be organizing with the local youth! In addition to Earth Charter related project, the group will be helping with the expansion of Casa Hogar, House for children in social Risk.

Reto Juvenil Internacional is a Costa Rican based organization working in collaboration with Australia, Canada and Guyana to carry out volunteer programs where community development is complemented by personal growth, group work and community service.

Reto Juvenil Internacional has been working for more than 15 years in Costa Rica and has participated consistently in more than 150 environmental and community projects, providing an opportunity for approximately 1800 volunteers from different countries to participate. Check Reto Juvenil film in YouTube.

Natalie Salas, Reto Juvenil’s Regional Coordinator for the department of Community Action and Leadership, tells why they wanted to partner with Earth Charter youth network:

“For us it is important to work with Earth Charter youth network because we support the same values of protecting the planet, communities and sustainable ways of living. In addition themes like global citizenship and environmental responsibility are important for us. We also needed assistance from this global movement to give us resources and guidance to work on these topics with our volunteers in the communities. For Reto Juvenil is also essential to keep working for youth development and improve the quality of life in our communities.”

Earth Charter youth network is very happy to work with Reto Juvenil and hoping for a great success on the upcoming project! 

The volunteers are: Bronwyn Davis, David Charrette, Dorothy Bootle, Elise Bulla, Jeremy Neeposh, Phil Ho and Tom d’ews Thomson.

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