The municipality of Adjuntas, harbored in the mountains of Puerto Rico, has many firsts: the first ecological and community-based radio station of the Caribbean, the first net energy metering system, the first forest reserve managed by a community organization and the Bosque Escuela (the Forest School), a unique concept in the Puerto Rican archipelago of a school amid La Olimpia Forest. All the initiatives aforementioned are the product of Casa Pueblo a community-based organization housed in “the city of the sleeping giant”.
The story of the Bosque Escuela begins in 2003 when Casa Pueblo acquired 150 acres of land through their own efforts. Ten years later, on August 2013, the Bosque Escuela La Olimpia ‘Ariel Massol Deyá’ opened its doors to students and the general public, creating a unique and magical educational space, at the top of the mountains, sheltered under a dense canopy, under the echoes of Taíno ancestral voices.
The foundation and values of The Bosque Escuela: education, conservation, agro-ecological protection and research.The Bosque Escuela is no ordinary school; classes entail hands-on exploration of the surrounding natural elements and inquiry-based learning to teach ecologically sound lessons. Students are exposed to an interdisciplinary education that goes beyond textbooks and exams. In the woodland environment of the Olimpia forest, younger generations are imparted with social and cultural values. They develop admiration and respect for nature and their community, thus receiving a “humanizing education.”