Earth Day 2017

Each year on April 22, we celebrate Earth Day. Why do we have a day to celebrate the Earth? Well, because the Earth is our only home (for the moment), and we need a yearly reminder that we should care for and protect this beautiful planet on which we live.

As an environmental Volunteer here in Perú, the different environmental holidays that occur throughout the year provide perfect opportunities to plan environmental activities or presentations with my host-country counterparts. One group with whom I have been working since last July is the Club Verde (Green Club), which consists of a bunch of young people from Caraz who are interested in improving the environment in and around the city. While they started as just a group of students from the local University, they are now a more formalized entity (Asociación Club Verde –Caraz) and I have been working with them on the implementation of their plans and ideas for this year.

As a group, they decided they wanted to implement some sort of activity for Earth Day, but after 2 meetings we had about a million ideas, but no one, concrete idea to execute. However, in the days leading up to Earth Day, they finally decided on two different activities.

The first was to plant flowers in one of the less-cared-for parks of Caraz during the morning of Earth Day. I mean, it’s Earth Day, so you are pretty much obligated to plant something, right? Here are some pictures of the process! Also, check out the Club Verde on Facebook!

The flowers to be planted

 Planting the flowers



The flowers became a tad wilted, but that is completely normal

The second activity was a screening of two environmentally themed movies, one for kids and one for “young adults”. My site-mate, who is a Youth Volunteer, had started a Sábados de Cine (Saturday Movie Nights) with her youth group, and so she let us take over the process for the weekend. For the kids, we decided to show The Lorax, which was a big hit and has a great message. Deforestation is an enormous problem in Perú, and so I hope that those in attendance were able to take something away from the movie. For the young adults, we decided to screen The Day After Tomorrow, a movie that rather dramatically shows the potential consequences of climate change in our world.

While the day was exhausting, it was great to be able to celebrate Earth Day through a diverse array of activities. In addition to my activities with the Asociación Club Verde – Caraz, I also worked with the UGEL (local branch of the ministry of education) to distribute about 200 trees to different schools in the province to be planted. We are also currently working to organize the production of more trees for a huge reforestation campaign in November.

Well, I hope this past April 22 you all took some time to appreciate this wonderful planet we call home. If you didn’t, there is still time to do something to help our planet, like plant a tree!

Until next time,


How do you make Taken 3 funny?

… You give Liam Neeson a jolly, middle-aged Spanish voiceover.

Since training ends around 5 each day, there is usually a lot of time to kill before dinner which is usually around 8 or 8:30.  So what do we do in this time?  We watch Spanish-dubbed movies, of course!  The first night, I watched the most recent Dragon Ball Z movie with my host brother and I was quite surprised with how well the Spanish dub captured Goku’s silly personality.  We also watched Los Vengadores (The Avengers), one of the Resident Evil movies, Taken 3 (obviously), and most recently Lucy (it’s a really weird movie).  You can essentially get any movie you want here, BlueRay or DVD, for only a few Soles (pronounced So-lays) from any of the various street vendors.

taken 3 spanish
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Additionally, each night this week we have been watching a sweet Peruvian singing competition called Yo Soy, where contestants compete to see who is the best impersonator.  Most of the contestants sing in Spanish, but there is one contestant who mostly sings English songs like Come Together.  The Grand Finale of the show is tonight, and my host dad hopes the contestant Sandro takes home the title.

In addition to watching movies, I found out that my host parents and older host brother have seen a lot of older American sitcoms, some of which I hadn’t even heard of before.  Some of the ones they mentioned were Paso a Paso (Step by Step), Salvado por la campana (Saved by the Bell), Matrimonio con hijos (Married with Kids), El Principe de Rap (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air), and my favorite, Tres por Tres, which somehow translates to Full House!

Full House
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At least for my family, even though I think this applies to many Peruvian families, movies and television seem to be a family activity, a way for everyone to bond.  I’m looking forward to watching more Spanish-dubbed films with my family and occasionally having to explain some English words as best as I can.