Primate Education in Peru: PEN Prize Winner Yeissy Sarmiento Guevara

Yeissy Sarmiento Guevara

PEN's Lessons Learned Challenge Prize Contest Winner Yeissy Sarmiento Guevara was awarded $250 USD (with support from Eric Losh Illustration) for her primate education efforts in Peru.

Read Yeissy's updates from the field below to learn how our support helped her organization, Neotropical Primate Conservation (NPC), to teach rural communities and deliver new primate education materials for more than 450 children.

Thanks to the support that we received from PEN, we were able to design and deliver board games and a story to educate more than 450 children in elementary schools in Bagua, Mendoza, Libano, Santa Cruz, La Primavera, San Miguel, and El Tambo in the rural villages of Amazonas and San Martin. Our education campaign focused on the importance of forests and primates. We also talked about El Niño, an engaging topic for children and teachers that is not regularly taught in schools.

El Niño is a natural phenomenon that occurs every three to five years, bringing torrential rains, flooding, landslides, and drought. Climate change and deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon has been increasing the frequency and intensity of this phenomenon.

"Salvemos el Bosques / Save the Forest" is a board game that is played in teams of four participants with dice and playing cards.  Download NPC's game!

We also gave talks to the adults in the villages we visited about the connection between the "El Niño" phenomenon, deforestation, and agriculture, promoting more sustainable ways of life.

Through lectures and videos, we explained how the forest plays an important role for communities and animals.  We also explained how the El Niño phenomenon could affect communities’ health, food, and education.

Students participate in NPC's game "Salve Monos" to save the monkeys (see template below) who are in danger.

We evaluated our students’ learning through the "Salvemos el Bosque" and "Salve Monos" games. We asked questions to determine if the students retained the information that they learned during our talks. The students formed teams and earned points during the games. The games focused on the topics we discussed in class, such as illegal trafficking of wild animals for pets or medical supplies. These topics were also covered during our "Un Gran Sueño / A Big Dream" story, which explains how wild animals are separated from their families, abused or hunted, and/or bought or sold as pets.

PEN's prize is important because it provided the opportunity for me and NPC to share our experience and learn from other educators working to protect primates and their natural habitat through educating both children and adults.

NPC has always considered environmental education to be an extremely important component of conservation plans. For this reason, we want to continue with the environmental education campaign in 2016 when children return to school and the weather permits. In the meantime, we will continue to develop new ideas and methodologies to educate and engage children in learning to conserve their forests and animals.

An NPC student holds up a monkey from their "Salve Monos" game.

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