Monday, April 10, 2023

2023: A new normal?

 This season was all about reestablishing Centro PUMA and its programs, and getting the café into full swing. 

Some things established themselves while we were gone - the garden went from a stomped-down construction zone with a few baby plants to a tropical oasis in less than a year.

Photos by Reese Hume

Somethings took a lot more effort, of course. These folks are who makes that happen!

After several months of being closed due to legal restructuring of our partner organization, we reopened the café in December 2022. We quickly got noticed by tourists, national and international, and locals on a date night. We offer vegetarian and vegan meals that can't be found elsewhere in our part of the island, and the best cup of coffee in Altagracia!

English classes continued for local kids, growing from a couple of dozen students to 60 with a waiting list. We are adding classes at different times to accommodate the overflow. New evening classes for adult beginners are also popular.

We didn't get our legal status in time to do our full Junior Ranger program this year, but we were able to do a few lessons in March, culminating in a final excursion to natural places on the island.

Photos by Reese Hume

The environmental education students also decorated the classroom with a new mural, featuring some of their favorite plants and animals:

The project is moving along, and we look forward to what we can accomplish together next year!

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