“Gracias por esta oportunidad,” wrote Gabrielle Gutierrez, a biology teacher at the Guanacaste Conservation Area in northern Costa Rica very near the Stroud™ Water Research Center’s tropical stream laboratory at the Maritza Biological Station. “Thank you for this opportunity.” Gabrielle was writing to accept our invitation to participate in a weeklong workshop on fresh water at the Center in October. She is part of a group of 15 teachers, professors, conservation workers, and government officials who will be coming to the Avondale campus from Central and South America — and Fort Worth, Texas — to take the Center’s new Spanish-language version of its Leaf Pack manual for a test drive.
“This is exciting,” said Jamie Blaine, Stroud research associate and a key driver behind the project. “Leaf Pack is a wonderful teaching tool and a simple way for people to monitor their local streams. Our educators have used it for almost two decades, and earlier this year we had it translated into Spanish. Being able to reach out to 500 million Spanish speakers around the world will do a lot to promote a freshwater stewardship movement across many borders.”
The participants will go home with a Leaf Pack Kit, and they have committed to sponsor a workshop in their communities within six months of their return. “The idea,” said Blaine, “is that these 15 people will become the first ambassadors whose goal is to spread Leaf Pack across Central and South America.”