Calitang Elementary School (CES), a stone’s throw away from Nacpan Beach, is home to this year’s Calitang Elementary School Summer Camp organized by Edward Gregorio, the owner of Hammock Homestay, and a group of tourist volunteers.
Last May 4th, we were invited by “Sir Greg” (as the kids fondly call him) to teach the kids about the different species of Pawikan that regularly grace the different beaches in Bacuit Bay. The kids learned the basics of turtle biology and ecology; from body parts to breeding and life cycle. They also learned about the current threats plaguing this gentle animal group, particularly the impacts of rampant use of single-use plastics. The children took turns writing their pledges to Mother Earth in order to help save sea turtles in their own little ways.
The session was culminated by a short walk to the marine turtle hatchery in Nacpan Beach. Here, the kids saw first-hand one of the means by which locals can help with marine turtle conservation efforts. It was truly a fruitful day with the Sir Greg and the kids.
Sir Greg believes children have a unique role to play in shaping local communities. He envisions a greener community in Nacpan by educating the children about simple eco-friendly practices they can bring home and share to their folks. Other programs in the summer camp aim to teach children the 3 R’s to green living—Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. He and his band of volunteers have initiated various projects ranging from composting, to arts and crafts using scraps, hanging gardens using plastic bottles, Zumba sessions, feeding programs, and so much more.
The main takeaway is that all hope is not lost. We can participate in saving marine turtles not just through nest monitoring and safe guarding, but most importantly by simply saying no to single-use plastics and sachets. Another way is by extending your support to community-based eco initiatives.The CES Summer Camp will run until May 25th. If you wish to extend your time and expertise for the camp, you may course your inquiries through us, or directly contact Edward Gregorio through the Helping Hand Volunteers page.
We are greatly looking forward to the continuous success of the CES Summer Camp in the many years ahead.