Below is a short story we received about David, a teen in El Salvador who participated in Tierra Linda: Una Semana del Medio Ambiente, a Kids to Kids environmental education project. The story was written by the Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) who helped community leaders implement the project. We found it really inspiring and hope you do too. Enjoy!

On the day we planted trees, there was one young man who stood out amongst his peers. He was patiently explaining to the smaller children the proper way to plant a tree. He was so attentive in his explanation, teaching the children how to cut off the bottom of the bag to free the tree roots and the proper space needed between each newly planted tree to best allow the trees to grow.

His name is David. He is 18 years old, in the 7th grade and a dedicated member of the Environmental Youth Group at the school. He has three brothers and both his parents work in a local farming cooperative. He and his family are very poor. They live in a small, humble house made of adobe.

I spoke to David later about the project:

PCV: What did you like about the environmental week? David: When they told me that we would have an environmental week, I wanted to collaborate with themes about the environment and it's importance in our lives. I also liked the opportunity to help others.

PCV: What did you learn? David: I learned how to plant trees properly, like the importance of cutting the bottom of the bag on the tree so that the roots are free. I also learned the space that each tree needs to grow and the use of a 3 meter triangle to measure. I was very happy to explain to the other students how to plant trees so that they can now do it themselves.

PCV: What do you want to do when you grow up? David: I would like to study agronomy (the study of using plants for food and fuel) at the university if God permits it. Then, I want to work with people in my town and in the countryside.

PCV: I am going to send a copy of our talk to Kids to Kids Members in the US. If you could tell them one thing about El Salvador, what would it be? David: We are hard workers and we fight always to improve ourselves and come out on top. Thank you for supporting us.