As Volunteers, Neal and I will be collaborating with a government institution named SEMARNAT. Well, it really is called Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales – a mouthful right? Let’s just stick with SEMARNAT for now. SEMARNAT is a regional office for the federal institution that basically encompasses the USA equivalents of the Department of Ecology, National Parks Service and Environmental Protection Agency. SEMARNAT is the head agency in charge of natural resource management and environmental laws in Mexico. There are a lot of moving pieces withing SEMARNAT as there are seven or eight sub-agencies that lie withing the federal agency covering more specific areas of reforestation and protection such as CONAFOR or CONANP. Our fellow PCVs (Peace Corps Volunteers) will be working in these sub-agencies. We however will be working in the SEMARNAT Puebla office, which is the regional office of the federal agency. This means that we will collaborate with the sub-agencies within the state of Puebla.
Neal is going to be using GIS – his speciality – for the SEMARNAT Puebla office. He is very excited to be working with three major departments within the office; he’s planning on creating a database help the three departments communicate more effectively using GIS. Neal is hoping that he can learn a lot so that he can implement a project that will really work for the office.
I am going to be collaborating with the Environmental Education department; there are a lot of different opportunities for different projects within the department that I am really excited to participate in. I am looking forward to learning more about exactly what the department needs are and how I could be of service. One project I know I am going to be working on is Escuela Verde certification program; these certificates are issued to schools to recognize actions that promote the participation of the educational community, to reduce its impact on the environment and contribute to the development of environmentally responsible citizenship.
Current bug bites: too many to count
Weeks left in training: 5 weeks!
PS: If you’re interested in “liking” SEMARNAT Puebla on Facebook, check out the page here. Guarantees that you will receive cool updates from our office in español. ¡Qué padre!
PPS: We are out on fun trips this week and will return to normal life on Saturday. Talk with you then!