Shark Education & Outreach in Puerto Rico
Update from our local team member Jeynaliz Ortiz González:
I am a 23 year-old shark ambassador stationed in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. Growing up, I always had an attraction to marine science, especialy sharks. Along with my growing aspirations, there was also frustration frm the lack of accesibility to shark scientists and educators in Puerto Rico. I remember thinking: "How can I study shark science?". Through an outstanding student and educator named Wanda Ortiz, I was introduced to the organization and, boy, has it been a fruitful experience! Sharks4Kids has been a fundamental part of my growth as a professional and as a member of my community.
Making whale shark crafts ( Download HERE)
My volunteer work has given me the opportunity to spend some time and chat with more than 400 students this semester and have never stumbled upon a boring day! The wonders and imagination of children is something indeed. It always surprises me how much they know about sharks by reading all on their own. Sometimes they beat me to some shark facts before I had the chance! I always leave the places I visit feeling completely rejoiced because I see so many excited faces. There is nothing greater than being a part of a child's growing curiosity. Along the journey, I have learned that, through example and education, our future generations will be able to continue protecting sharks through selfless acts of love and kindness just because, as one of my students said, "Sharks are the coolest fishes on the planet". The experience of answering tricky questions, sharing laughter and making crafts, as well as creating core memories for our future shark ambassadors is something I wish to be a part of for the rest of my career. My joy will always be found in the connections I have made with the noble hearts of schools, teachers and their children.
Jeyna spoke to 240 students at Aurora School. Students had JAWsome questions
Fun fact: From the images presented, 80% of students have ultimately agreed that the Thresher is indeed the funniest looking shark.
Luis Muñoz Marin School. Collage sent by the teachers including our sharky bracelets and whale sharks!
Jeynaliz teaching students about cartilage vs bone (CADEI lesson)