Otoch Paal Students Take Part
in Akumal Adopt-a-Plant Program

In keeping with the Montessori philosophy, which emphasizes respect for and knowledge of the natural world, Otoch Paal students made a visit in March to the recently inaugurated nursery that La Buena Vida and Vista Del Mar maintains for its Adopt-a-Plant Program. As part of an effort to support a greener Akumal, La Buena Vida and Vista Del Mar have opened a nursery dedicated to reforesting the local area with indigenous plants. Adopt-a-Plant is part of a larger effort to promote a culture of caring for the environment, started over 10 years ago, in order to help reforest the region with native plants such as the zapote and other hardwoods in danger of extinction.

A part of the Adopt-a-Plant project includes offering free native plants to local residents. Otoch Paal students were happy to help do their part! The plants have been delivered to the school and the students will each plant their own as part of their weekly nature lessons, which they have every Thursday. These lessons have previously included instruction in how to care for the animals the school keeps on its grounds (chickens, turkeys, a goose, parakeets), learning about insects, and a lesson about the Mexican hairless dog breed, Xoloitzquintle, among other things. Otoch Paal strives to involve its students in local projects that support the positive growth of community relationships and a more caring world.

To see a Montessori preschool in operation, come visit Otoch Paal Community Center in Akumal Pueblo. Otoch Paal welcomes visitors who are interested in seeing how a Montessori center operates. Classes are in session from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. Visitors are asked to come between 8:30 and 10 a.m.

How you can help. As a non-profit community-based learning center, Otoch Paal does not generate sufficient funds to pay for all necessary school improvements. Monetary donations and donations in kind are always welcome. Donations can be made directly at the school or contact the school Director, Gabriela Ortega.

Are you associated with a Montessori school that could donate used learning materials for the preschool/kindergarten classroom or support the school in some other way? Contact Graciela Avila, school principal.

Directions to Otoch Paal:
The school is located near the back of Akumal Pueblo, on the northern edge of town. It can be reached by following the Pueblo's main street (avenida) to the fourth block on the right-hand side of the street. After passing the secondary and kindergarten schools (which are on the main street), turn right at the corner where the kindergarten is located and continue to the next corner. Otoch Paal is next to the kindergarten and the entrance is at the far corner, near the town's edge.

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