EarthGirl Catalina: Saving Endangered Youth
EarthGirl Catalina, tell us, what makes you an EarthGirl?
I am an EarthGirl because I dedicate my life and my career to developing and evaluating civic education programs, at a national as well as international level. Many of the programs I work on include “social and ecological responsibility” competencies. That means that a lot of the programs that I work on/with must meet standard requirements for teaching kids, and adults involved in continuing education, about caring for their natural environment. I am also an EarthGirl because I love the earth I live in/on, so I try to take good care of it -in my personal as well as in my professional life. My mother is actually an environmental activist. She recently said something that really made me laugh but also moved me. She said, “Cati, yo no les dejo regueros a mis hijos ni a mis nietos. Yo cuido de la tierra ya mismo”. Translation: “Cati, I don’t leave spills/messes for my children and my grandchildren. I take care of the earth right now”.
When did you become aware and fall in love with our planet and what did you do next?
On this score, I really have to thank my mother and my father. When I was a kid, I learned a great deal about my relationship with the earth when my parents sent me to a global youth village (summer camp program) called Legacy International (please check it out at: http://www.legacyintl.org and search for “Global Youth Village”).
I participated in that civic education summer program when I was in 6th and 7th grades. That’s when I fell in love with our planet. What did I do next? Well, over the years I have developed into a professional academic who works on programs like the ones at Legacy International on a full-time basis.
Currently, I am a 2009-2010 Fulbright Scholar in the field of civic education with a focus on programs like the ones I’ve just mentioned.
What do you think is a simple change anyone can make to be more eco-friendly?
Volunteer at a local youth organization that runs environmental awareness civic education afterschool programs. Or start one of your own! Anyone can get involved in preparing future generations of young leaders to fall in love with our planet. If someone out there starts a program like this in their neighborhood –contact me! I’ll help you with evaluation and development, as best I can, free of charge, but only if you mention EarthGirlz when you contact me!
Examples of civic education after-school programs that I’ve already worked with: Yoga for children and youth of all ages. Yoga for adjudicated youth, especially girls, many of them already jailed. Nature hike/walk programs. Gardening workshops. Ecological clubs with schools, girl scout troops, church groups, etc. Recycling clubs. Nonprofit youth center environmental awareness programs. Holistic nutrition after-school programs. Healthy cooking programs for kids. The list really can go on and on!
What eco-friendly product do you use or wear regularly?
I can’t point to one single product. I lead a holistic life. I have a neurological disability (Epilepsy) and I find that the best treatments I can provide myself with are often 100% natural. I rely on yoga for treatment. I can’t live without Salmon Oil and Omega-3 supplements… I eat a lot of pro-biotic products. I don’t spend a lot of money buying expensive drugs that artificially mess up my body. I do take one prescription drug in order to avoid seizures. But all of the rest is 100% natural, and by the way, very affordable.
Other natural supplements I use are garlic… and fish oil… and raw vegetables… and tofu… and Quinoa… somebody stop me! The list goes on!
What are your daily earth-friendly actions?
Every day, I work with youth programs that teach ecological responsibility to future generations of earth stewards.
Are you working on anything that we should know about that’s positively impacting our planet and its people?
Yes, I am working on projects that people should know about! I’m working on a Fulbright in the above-mentioned civic education programs. Do you want to learn more about my Fulbright? Check out my linkedin profile here.
Make a wish! Make a wish? Anything!?!
Here it is: I wish that the people reading this truly go out and volunteer to help with a youth program that teaches kids environmental awareness. Find a program in your area and volunteer –please. We can’t expect our children and youth to take good care of the earth if we don’t teach them how.
If I had a second wish, it would be that people would find out more about recent Kyoto Protocol developments, after Copenhagen. Check out this post.
If I had a third wish (maybe after rubbing a magic genie lamp?) I would want people to check out “CRUDE” the movie: www.crudethemovie.com. Phew!
Do EarthGirlz really have more fun?
EarthGirlz *definitely* have more fun -because we’re sexier. Way, way, way sexier. Earthy is where it’s at, rrrroooooaaaaarrrr!!!
What Kooky or interesting fun-facts should our viewers know about you?
One interesting thing that people should know about me is that I have Epilepsy and that about 90% of my treatment is holistic, natural, and free of chemicals. I stick to a diet called the Ketogenic Diet that supports the brain and the entire neurological system –but is also very healthy for the body in general. Let’s see, what else? I love to Salsa dance. I want to learn dances of African descent while I am on the Fulbright. I want to learn Bullerengue, for example, and Cumbia. I’m bilingual, working on trilingual (Spanish, English, working on French). I love swimming, and I love yoga. I love to sing.
Kooky? Hmmmmmmmm, that’s classified information. But I’m definitely kooky. For example, given the right context, I really enjoy purring!
To read the breathtaking dangers that befell our EarthGirl in March 2010 (just last month!) click here!
Do you know an EarthGirl? Have them submit to EarthGirlz here!