Inter-generational exchange in conservation experiences

". . . a motivational exchange between different generations."

Workshops designed to create exchange between the ecology club members and community members working in conservation have been arranged through the EEP on several occasions. In particular the exchange between the ecology clubs and a group of local commercial fisherman has resulted in a profound level of impact and change for both groups. The fishers are a group of divers who a few years ago were trained by the local conservation group CoBi (Comunidad y Biodiversidad) to conduct sub-tidal monitoring in the offshore Isla San Pedro Martir Biosphere Reserve. During the workshops the divers tell their stories, work with the youth to demonstrate the methodology used in monitoring fish and invertebrates, and facilitate a snorkeling field trip with the students, the EEP fellows and members of CoBi. These divers, the uncles and fathers of some of the students, share their own personal stories. These stories paint a vivid picture of their changed relationship with the marine environment as they transitioned from self-proclaimed poachers to their current position as employed conservation workers, who are respected for their skills, knowledge and appreciation of marine ecosystems. The workshop has become a motivational exchange between different generations. The divers convey their pride for their work in conservation, as teachers, and examples for the youth in their community. In turn, the youth now see employment and career alternatives to fishing. They dream of one day being divers or employed by a conservation organization.