(1) Lone Tree Institute collaborates with Palo Solo’s public school (grades pre-K – 6th) to help teach the Expresion Cultural y Artistica, “Cultural and Artistic Expression,” curriculum requirement. The school is located across the road from the library, so schoolchildren can easily walk over.
(2) Since January 2015, Lone Tree Institute has worked with the area’s Peace Corps volunteer to teach English to the students in Palo Solo’s public elementary school.
(3) Computer literacy instruction is also ongoing. Lone Tree Institute provides the staff member in charge of teaching the course. The laptop computers used were donated by the Palo Solo Project.
Early-childhood reading program
(4) Now in its second year, the early-childhood reading program has been a success. Many of the participants have either started pre-school or stayed in it, a possible indication of the program’s positive impact, even only a year out.
Folkloric dance troupe
(5) The longest-running program, the folkloric dance troupe includes around six girls, who have been with the troupe for over three years. They practice and rehearse in the Richard B. Gladstone library, and they have performed in public venues, including, in the main square of La Concepcion, the nearest town, during Christmas 2014.
Reforestation and energy-efficient cookstoves
(6) Reforestation demonstration and environmental education — a steep, deforested slope behind the library was recently planted with tree saplings of three native species. The plot will serve as an experimental, and model, reforestation trial. The region has suffered considerable deforestation due to monoculture, unsustainable agriculture and firewood-gathering for cooking.
(7) A collaboration with the Peace Corps has demonstrated a model of energy-efficient wood-burning cookstove. The Lone Tree Institute helped host a workshop on building the cookstoves, and there is potential for funding up to 30 stoves in homes in the vicinity of Palo Solo. The stoves hold the promise of reducing dirty smoke and lessening the pressure on trees and forests.