Douglas McMeekin has developed a rural education model that integrates academic study with practical experience in microenterprise so that students are prepared to resolve the social, economic, and environmental challenges in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Poor, primarily indigenous students acquire the necessary skills at Yachana to promote entrepreneurship, conservation, and sustainable development in their communities.
Provide meaningful education for youth from the Amazon region; a marginalized group for their ethnicity, remoteness and poverty. To give them training and skills that are practical, hands-on, to get jobs or start their own businesses relevant to their lives and tropical environmental. Public education exists throughout the Amazon of Ecuador but young people are not learning or benefiting from the traditional rote memory, theoretical education. The solution: look at the lives of the youth, their cultures and long term goals.
Many geotourism sites are located in developing countries with the stewardship in the hands of locals who may have little or no education and a limited world view. The desire to protect such destinations is not naturally inherent among people living on less than $2 per day. If there is a necessity they will cut down trees or kill animals. This situation can be combated using education to raise awareness of young people living in geotourism areas to give them either an economic reason or intrinsic value for protecting it.
YACHANA: GEOTOURISM LODGE and SCHOOL