Estudios featured Karma Partner is Amor Infinito:
To offer a consistent, safe and creative space to Montanita’s children in a manner that fosters a more sustainable way of life–a life where humans, the earth and animals are cared for with mutual respect. Through the use of equine therapy, art, and permaculture, we encourage kids to reconnect with nature in all its forms.
Why We Do It
The short answer? Because we love kids, we love the earth, and we are concerned for the future of both. Montanita, Ecuador is a small, beautiful beach town whose tourist industry has grown exponentially within the last decade. This rapid growth has seen a large percentage of Montanita natives abandon traditional farming and fishing practices and instead seek employment at local bars, restaurants and as alcohol vendors. This swift change has left local children lacking even a memory of the former relationship between the natives, the land and the animals. Recognizing the importance of consistency and tranquility in a child’s development, Amor Infinito was created with the intention of offering a peaceful space to local children who are growing up amongst the fast pace and chaotic stimulation of a tourist town known for its “party.”
How We Do It
We are using horses, art and permaculture as a bridge for this mission. Monday-Friday local children are invited to interact (for free!) with our horses and the land. The kids spend the first hour dedicated to artistic expression, short lessons in sustainability, and hands on work in our gardens. The following hour is spent grooming, riding and bonding with our five horses. We are always seeking to further unite the community with the help of community members, interns and volunteers with experience in animal sciences, communications/marketing, journalism, music, and art.
Horses are incredibly powerful and gentle animals capable of forming close bonds with humans. As very intuitive beings, horses often respond to the emotions of their human partner and thus serve as a mirror of your own inner-self. So beyond the respect and responsibility necessary to develop such a bond, horse-human relations offer incredible room for growth in your self-confidence and sense of trust. In a world where stimulating external factors often distract us from ourselves, horses offer an opportunity to slow down and get to know our true selves. The primary benefits to equine therapy include:
Improved communication and social skills
Respect for self and others
Empathy towards others
Responsibility and accountability
Problem solving and cooperation
Honesty and trust
Overcoming challenges in a non threatening atmosphere
While many North Americans are fighting to keep art in their children’s schools, it simply has never existed in many South American schools. Yet the creative development of a child’s mind is critical to their success in a globalizing world growing more dependent on innovative ideas. According to Americans for the Arts, benefits to art education for children include:
Stimulates and develops the imagination and critical thinking, and refines cognitive and creative skills.
Has a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has proven to help level the “learning
field” across socio-economic boundaries
Strengthens problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement and school success.
Develops a sense of craftsmanship, quality task performance, and goal-setting—skills needed to succeed in the
classroom and beyond
Teaches children life skills such as developing an informed perception; articulating a vision; learning to solve problems and make decisions; building self-confidence and self-discipline; developing the ability to imagine what
might be; and accepting responsibility to complete tasks from start to finish
Nurtures important values, including team-building skills; respecting alternative viewpoints; and appreciating and
being aware of different cultures and traditions
Why (and What is) Permaculture?
Permaculture is a design system based on ethics and design principles which can be used to guide efforts made by individuals, households and communities towards a sustainable future. Embracing the notion that our youth are our future, we believe it is important to instill an appreciation of these principles in today’s youth. The 12 permaculture design principles are thinking tools that, when used together, allow us to creatively re-design our environment and our behavior in a world of less energy and resources. These principles are seen as universal, although the methods used to express them will vary greatly according to the place and situation. They are applicable to our personal, economic, social and political reorganization. The twelve principles of permaculture include:
Creatively use and respond to change
Observe and interact
Catch and store energy
Obtain a yield
Self-regulate; accept feedback
Use and value renewables
Produce no waste
Design from pattern to detail
Use small, slow solutions
Use and value diversity
Use edges; value the marginal