Viva La Naturaleza

Okanogan Highlands Alliance sponsored a new kind of educational event called, “Viva la Naturaleza,” in partnership with the Tonasket School Garden, Tonasket High School MEChA Club, Tonasket School District, Tonasket Migrant PAC, AmeriCorps/VISTA, Team Naturaleza, and the Viva la Naturaleza Student Leadership Team.

The event aimed to connect Latino community members with the natural world and was part of OHA’s “Highland Wonders” educational series. The El Mundo press was present to share the story of this event with the Latino community across 15 counties in WA State, and the Gazette-Tribune was also present to share the story with the local community.

This event was a collaboration between several entities and was coordinated by the following individuals: Tyler Graves, Scott Olson, Hanna Kliegman, Julie Vanderwal, George Thorton, Lee Miller, Martha Wisdom, Norma Gallegos, and the Student Leaders: Hilda Celestino, Rosemary Luna, and Fernanda Abrego.

The students are keen to build on this experience by offering more “Viva la Naturaleza” events in the future. They described how some of their friends who originally chose not to participate are now eager to be a part of it too.

Big thank you’s go out to:

  • Maria Gonzales and Oroville Harvest Foods for supplying excellent carne asada meat at an affordable rate
  • Gustavo Montoya of El Mundo for the surprise donation of soccer publications that were much appreciated by the families, and for assistance with translation during the plant hike
  • LaVonne Hammelman and the Oroville Seed Library for donating carrot and beet seeds for families to take home and grow, extending their school garden experience
  • Norma Guiterrez for assistance with translation during the plant hike
  • Sabrina Norrell (AmeriCorps) for assistance with the cover crop activity in the garden
  • Jane Thompson for tilling the garden in preparation for the cover crop activity
  • Junior leadership group: Raphaela, Daisy, and Madeline
  • The event leadership team for the time and effort invested to make this event a success
  • The families who participated, for making the most of the experience

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