“Kids are like sponges. They absorb what they see, and if what they see is good they will have common sense in the future.” – Chistiam Berrios
Nestled in the heart of LeÃ³n, Nicaragua â€“ the second biggest city in Nicaragua â€“ is SONATI, a self-sustaining private business with a non-profit ethics model that uses micro businesses to generate funding to support local guides and educators, and implement free environmental education programs for the community.
That’s a quite a mouthful, I know.
Here’s what SONATI does:
First: a hostel.
Just a few blocks from Parque Central and the tourist center of LeÃ³n, you can step inside the SONATI main office â€“ entrance to a travelers hostel. The staff are volunteers and guides.
Guides, you ask…
SONATI has many guides on staff to take tourists on hikes that range from a few hours to a few days, up mountains and through mangrove swamps. Similar in style to Quetzaltrekkers leading treks in Guatemala, the funds raised by these hikes go to…
Third: environmental education.
It is not at all uncommon to walk into local markets and find bowls full of sea turtle eggs, among other exotic things. The forests around LeÃ³n have been seriously, dangerously depleted by industry. The environment of Nicaragua has many troubles, and Arnon (Nony) Dattner founded SONATI specifically so he could lead an initiative to educate the local youth about their environment so that the future can be better.
â€œSubida de los NiÃ±osâ€ (The Children’s Ascent) explores local attitudes in LeÃ³n and follows SONATI guide Christiam Berrios as he works to inform a younger generation.
Director: Greg Takacs
Producer: Natalie Eakin
Cinematographer: Jordan de Biasi
Actuality Media is an organization that takes media students to developing communities around the globe to create positive media that tells the story of changemakers doing good works to fight societal and environmental problems that plague the world. These short documentaries were each produced during a thirty day outreach where crews researched their subject changemaker, wrote out their story, filmed and edited it. Keep up with Actuality Media current events and check out upcoming programs.