Villa Hayes Heritage Protectors - Paraguay

PROJECT GOAL

The project aims to use teaching methods comprising various extracurricular activities, and thus boost education on our community’s cultural, natural and historical sites.


THE PROJECT STEP BY STEP

First step

The city’s cultural and historical sites were reviewed on the basis of studies and research carried out by young heritage protectors in 2012. Owing to the length of time for which the children were required to travel, five locations were chosen for the guided tour, including the Melodia Cultural Centre, the Don Salvador Garozzo Municipal Museum, the Escalinata (Staircase), the Benjamin Aceval monument and the Government Building of Presidente Hayes Department (15th Department of Paraguay).

Second step

Once the sites had been chosen for the excursion, a booklet, tailored to the needs of Year 4 pupils (eight to nine year-old boys and girls), was designed and was subsequently checked for accuracy by the technical and educational oversight support staff of Paraguay’s Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC).

Third step

When the booklets were ready, the project was described to the teachers, whose support was requested. The MEC technical and educational oversight department was instrumental to success in introducing the project into schools so that it could be mainstreamed in education. For example, teachers were requested to encourage pupils to bring dictionaries to school in order to look up words that they did not understand; we worked on spatial location by providing each child with a map of the city and taught them to read maps and to identify the cardinal points. Furthermore, we practised an educational methodology known as “enseñaje” – a combination of the Spanish words for “teaching” (enseñanza) and “learning” (aprendizaje). We also addressed the issue of biodiversity, nature and environmental protection as an integral part of heritage protection.

Fourth step

We conducted group tours for no more than 30 pupils, after showing them a video explaining the importance of protecting the heritage for enjoyment by future generations. We explained to the pupils the history of our city and that each action taken to protect the environment raises the awareness of adults, who bear the greatest responsibility for doing so.

Fifth step

On completion of the guided tours, the pupils wrote down their personal details and impressions of the tours, which they then submitted for review. Lastly, at a major event attended by the city’s municipal authorities, the pupil’s work was displayed and it was resolutely proposed that the Historical Centre of the City of Villa Hayes be declared a Heritage Area.
 

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Paraguay