I am planning to do my service-learning hours at ECHO Global Farm. The foundation of ECHO is located in Cape Coral, where they sustain international agriculture. This organization educates farmers on the tools and techniques required to grow nutritious foods all around the world. However, the work that ECHO performs and the help they provide is not limited to feeding the malnourished. They are also known for making efforts to reduce the environmental footprint by promoting sustainability. They do this by using adaptive technology, renewable energy sources, and planting foods without harmful chemicals and fertilizers.
Volunteers can select through multiple options of giving their time to the global farm. From working inside on computers and filing papers, to physically working outside; farming, and tending to the animals. I decided to work as a tropical highland volunteer where I would assist with harvesting, planting, processing different crops, weeding, caring for greenhouse plants, and working alongside the interns.
I plan on volunteering two shifts for 5 hours each. Wednesday mornings are my most available times, which luckily aligns with the tropical highlands volunteering schedule. I have completed my first 5 hours on March 31st and will finish the remaining 5 hours on April 21st.
My supervisor is Libby Arcia. She is responsible for managing the volunteers and helping them select days and times for them to come and work at the ECHO farm. Her contact information is; firstname.lastname@example.org, (239)-567-3313.
This project relates to University Colloquium because this class is all about environmental sustainability, decreasing your ecological footprint, and taking care and giving back to the earth that we call home. At the ECHO farm, volunteers, staff, and interns are dedicated to making the world a more sustainable place. The work that they do in South West Florida, extends and impacts other countries like Africa, Asia, and Haiti. Farmers will get the first-hand experience of learning how to use their resources to multiply their agriculture, in a way that is benefiting the environment. The techniques and skills they obtain by working on the farm will be passed to many hands. ECHO global farm is dedicated to using all-natural and environmentally-friendly products. I think that it is more beneficial to teach someone the skills on how to grow their own food, rather than simply feeding them, and that is what the ECHO farm does.
I chose this non-profit organization as the base of my service-learning experience because I was already familiar with them and what they do. When I was in middle school, we took a field trip to their global farm and worked with the interns all day. I distinctly remember making bricks with my own hands and feeling like I was going to faint in the hot sun. However, I loved the experience. It felt good learning a new skill and for the first time, removing myself from my social norm and placing myself in an environment where I get to learn how people live and survive in other countries. It was truly an eye-opening experience. From that, I decided that coming back and learning some other skills would be incredibly fun.