The week from the 9th to the 15th of October 2017 the annual Forest Festival took place in Estelí. The week was filled with various activities which we want to resume here for all who could not take part or who want to keep them in mind.

On Monday we started with the painting contest with five children. After watching a documentary about the different forests of the world they created paintings with environmental messages.

With help of biologist Milton Salazar the panel discussion “The Value of Smart Organisms” took place on Tuesday. With various representatives of organizations, teachers, companies and students of Estelí the importance of forests for the conversation of the fauna in Nicaragua was visualized at the beautiful premise of Casa Vínculos. We were taught different daily actions everyone can do in order to reduce the loss of biodiversity in our country.

Wednesday SONATI started the festival activities in schools by going to the school San Francisco de Asís in La Cruz, a small community in the north of the town. After presenting the movie “Over the Hedge” we discussed together with the children the problem of the forests’ pollution and the importance of protecting the nature. Later every student received a little tree which they can plant next to where they live in order to be part of the environmental protection in their community.

To teach the children from the start of their life on about environment protection we told in cooperation with Casa Vínculos fairy tales in four different preschools in Estelí. The fairy tales were about different environmental topics, for example how trash is affecting ecosystems what had the objective to reinforce the importance of forest conservation. Teaching them in an interactive way everybody was allowed to dress up as an animal with help of cute masks. Additionally SONATI promoted healthy nutrition by handing out fruits. In total every student enjoyed the whole activity.

“Run for your oxygen” was the motto of the ecological race. The participants ran approximately five kilometers from the school Nuestra Señora del Rosario to the community El Limón. The fastest three runners were far ahead all the time and were honored for their skills with different prices like a stay at SONATI’s hostel in León including a kayaking tour through the Mangroves Isla Juan. Due to the importance of preservation of the woods and their oxygen production, SONATI invited everyone to take along a plant in order to produce oxygen themselves.

Colors, music, happiness, dances, children, audience, motivation: that’s how we describe our final day of the fifth forest festival of Estelí. The aim of the carnival we did on this last day was to build awareness and to sensibilize for the environment and its needs in order to make the attitude of all participants more responsible. We would like to thank Colectivo El Nido de las Artes, Fabretto Estelí, Escuela Cristal, El Terrero Estelí and Carla Sofía Moreno de Escuela María Llanes not only for their participation and help but also for their work towards creating awareness for every being inside ecosystems and invaluable resources like water.

Finally, we would also like to thank our sponsors who helped us with all our activities in the whole week of the fifth forest festival of Estelí. We look forward for your participation the next year.