Carmen, founder of the Eco Teams, seen here with the President of Bolivia, Jaime Paz Zamora in 1991. The president´s left hand is on Carmen´s shoulder. Carmen was leader for 4 years, and made the Eco Teams a national symbol of youth activity. The president came to congratulate the teams for their work in saving Bolivia´s forests.
Dinora, Soraya and Aida lead their eco-team to clean up a river, close all contaminating inflows, and create a swimming pond for their local Mam Indian community in Guatemala, December, 2019. Here they enjoy a snake they found while resting in front of their team banner.
Angelica established The Court of the Princess for bright girls in Latin America to advance beyond mediocre school education, giving them a chance to learn courtly manners and good taste in art.
The Court of the Nature Princess promotes noble character: honesty, communication, eloquent expression, good habits. These girls become ambassadors to the artists and engineers who come to improve our villages.
Reyna attracted so many youths to her eco-teams they became the moving force of her town in ecology, far more effective than the local government in protecting nature and teaching respect for plants and animals.
When Katiela, Eco-team leader, was asked by the town authorities to help bring tourists to the remote Central American location, she consulted the Earthgardens and specified which of the region's historic Maya traditions the town would embrace, and which would be rejected. The bloody sacrifices, superstitions, and intrinsic pessimism left by the conquistadores OUT, reverence for nature, cultivation of beauty, and friendly affection for visitors, IN. The biggest challenge was changing the habit of constant aimless machete-wielding against plants by the men, and the insistence by school teachers that all boys had to have unsightly crew-cuts to be presentable.
Yapanepet ordered the Bolivian Army to start protecting the rainforest.
She once posted guards around the big trees of her village to prevent access by chain-saw-wielding macheteros. Her eco-team initiated a tree-planting program and started all households in their area composting garbage.
Zenobia kicked all the boys out of the swimming holes. Nicaraguan boys tend to be rude and vulgar in groups, and they so dominated the local swimming places that no girls came. For the first time in her town, Zenobia made the water a place for GIRLS; boys only on good behavior.
LUCI, shown here with a snake, led the Eco Teams from 1993 to 1997, as the first NATURE PRINCESS. She tapped the natural affinity between boys and girls and popularized ecological cooperation as a cool youth activity, drawing media attention to the importance of nature and halting deforestation in Bolivia.
Rosalba painted 8 giant murals, posted numerous stencils in 12 towns stating "Bolivia es Biodiversidad", created and put video documentaries on local TV channels that aired prime time in Trinidad, Concepcion, Samaipata, Mairana, Campo Grande, Los Negros, Vallegrande, Comarapa and Pojo, Bolivia., and distributed thousands of free educational coloring books.
Charro was the Earthgardens' principal documentary commentator. She spoke to the TV audience of the importance of Bolivia's forests and biodiversity. These messages were sandwiched in between beautiful home-made videos of Nature (with tunes from Tangerine Dream, etc.) and films of the girls dancing which became very popular in Bolivia. TV transmitters from all over Bolivia asked for her productions.
In Guatemala, Indigenous children establish PRIDE in their native culture, as they instill Earthfitness discipline in 2020.