The importance of the direct contact of Yucatecan children with animals and the countryside generated a unique park of its kind, as learning about the care of plants and animals is fundamental as part of the elemental and basic education of any child.
“Villaventura” is just 20 minutes away from Mérida’s Periférico, in the municipality of Baca, an interactive farm that offers students from urban and rural schools a close encounter with a natural environment, in a teaching that is based on the child’s 5 senses, aromas, sounds, colors and textures of the skins and plumages, the balance and the natural movements, in one word “LIFE”.
“At “Villaventura” teachers can instruct their students about the importance of animals, what they do for us, whether they are herbivores or carnivorous, mammals, oviparous, etc., and for a greater learning footprint, students can interact directly with the animals,” says the promoter of the project, Guillermo Riestra Alonso. “Thus, children feel, touch, smell and hug their animal farm hosts.”
This park was born of the concerns of a family man with three children, dedicated to altruistic actions in favor of cats and dogs in street situation. And in conversation with other parents, Guillermo visualized the importance of a living park.
How to get there?
To get to “Villaventura” just take the Mérida-Motul road. Upon arriving at the town of Baca, make a right towards Yaxkukul right where the new bridge is located, and take the road to the Kancabchén ranch. “Villaventura” is located righ nest to Kabcanchén, just pass by “El Niño Artillero” rural elementary school, and keep going on the cobbled path, until you see the main entrance.
Mr. Riestra Alonso explains that as a father of three, he was worried about their life in the city, ignoring the things of the countryside and never thinking about the importance of food production. He says his was concerned of the fact that his kids used to spend all day connected to a cell phone or in front of a television screen.
“It is necessary that the children of the city come to value the life in a farm and, at the same time, the students of the rural communities can also learn how to take better care of those farm animals, which they know because they roam their yards, and here we teach them how to care better for them ” Riestra Alonso added.
So children in the rural sector learn to give their backyard animals a better treatment while those in the city can learn what is it like to work in the countryside at a temperature of almost 40 degrees, and thus create awareness of the importance of these animals in the life of human beings.
The land occupies 12,500 square meters. It has fenced and open spaces, to give the visitor the feeling of freedom.
The farm features chickens turkeys, geese, sheep, rabbits, peacocks, pigs pigs and Vietnamese pigs, sheep, goats and two horses rescued from the wounds of their hard work.
“We are waiting for the cows to arrive, we look for the classic white with black spots. We do not want to confuse children with complex explanations of the varieties of cattle,” Riestra Alonso continued.
“Villaventura” has a rustic playground: tractor wheels and flatters form a circuit for children and parents to enjoy. They have classic games such as “tug of war”. The idea is to practice interactive games in which kids run, sweat and learn to play as a team.
Riestra Alonso emphasized that it is not right to leave children sitting all day in front of a screen, because that will limit their development as adults: “To be a succesful adult, you have to be a happy child”, he said.
He stressed that the first stage starts with farm animals and two types of crops, traditional and hydroponic gardens, so children can also learn about cropping.
“Villaventura” was built with all natural material resources found on site, and the whole park is plain and flat, so that people with different abilities can also visit the place. There are wheelchair ramps in the main classroom, restrooms and other parts of the facility.
“Villaventura” does not handle many animals with the objective of fattening and selling them for food production, the idea is that the animals at this farm can grow strong, in optimal health conditions and clean, so that visitors can have a happy experience meeting and interacting with them.
TYT Newsroom with information from yucatan.com.mx