The BioEsfera Project

The First Spanish-Tropical Forest Biology-Archeology Workshop
La Escuela Rice/The Rice School
Houston, TX

What is BioEsfera?

BioEsfera was developed by Dr. Carlos R. Solís, of Rice University , as a response to the need to train teachers in Spanish and Conservation Biology, and to provide an opportunity for the acquisition of new cultural perspectives in a society that characterizes itself for its diverse ethnic and cultural composition. The group of teachers that participated in this effort are all members of The Rice School/La Escuela Rice's Teaching staff. This is a new school of the Houston ISD program which is implementing a novel approach to schooling which includes bilingual English/Spanish instruction as part of its teaching method.

The project was financed, in its entirety by the school. Teachers paid for the EcoEscuela portion. The Escuela Rice parents group and the community help with the rest of the funds by direct contribution or by helping with fund raising events such as:

BioEsfera was made possible thanks to not only the participants but to the support of all of the Escuela Rice community, including a heavy economic participation from the Parents Group.

BioEsfera took 12 teachers from grades K through 8 to the town of San Andrés, Petén, in northern Guatemala, during the Spring Break of 1995.

There, each teacher was housed with a local family for a week. In the morning the attended the EcoEscuela de Español, run by Conservation International and Pro/Petén. Each particip ant had a personal teacher who taught them at their skill level, on a one to one basis, for 4 hours. During this time, the teachers learned not only Spanish, but discussed cultural, political and historical issues about Guatemala.

The afternoons were spent in various actvities, including:

Each teacher has written an essay about her/his experience in Guatemala and with the BioEsfera Project. In the page that follows Go To you can find an index to those essays and some biographical notes from each participant.

The Rice News also produced an article that describes the project and the perspectives from two of the participants.

Here are other resources to access information on MesoAmerica and on Conservation:

Click here to see Book and Movie Resouces


Your comments, corrections, and suggestions on the computer materials are always welcomed. Please send electronic mail to:

Carlos R. Solís []
Center for technology in Teaching and Learning
Rice University


last updated on January 8, 1996 by CRS

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