When Maritza was 10 years old she launched an organization for environmental education called HUNAB through which she now trains young people in conservation awareness.
"If children are just told to plant a tree, they do not learn what a tree is, how it grew from a seed, how to care for it. The action has no meaning if we do not create values. But, if people learn, from childhood, to be part of the solution and to love nature and their communities, when they grow up they will be true leaders. That is what our world requires, true leaders who feel a responsibility for the environment," she says.
Maritza Morales Casanova now has a Bachelor of Science degree and has trained in social planning, conservation strategy, leadership and freshwater aquaculture – all to aid her environmental work. She believes everyone is capable of bringing about change and employs children and teenagers to run HUNAB with her and they are building a park in the Yucatán where children can learn sustainability and then educate others about it.
In 2012 Maritza was given a Young Laureates Rolex Award for Enterprise. Thanks to funds from Rolex, five open-air classrooms are being built at Ceiba Pentandra in the Yucatan, Mexico. The first visitors to the park, which opened unofficially several months ago, were 70 children from HUNAB’s workshops from three different communities.
When the park is fully operational there will be daily, educational visits for schools and the public – along with summer camps and weekend courses with peer educators – allowing 11,000 students to participate.
I think the moral of the story is to encourage your children's passions for they can grow into something amazing.
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