Darwin Animal Doctors


Archive: Jan 2019

  1. DAD’s Work with Rayo de Luna

    From September 16, 2017 to October 2, 2017, Puerto Rico was drastically affected by Hurricane Maria, regarded the deadliest Atlantic hurricane since 2004. Over a year has passed, and although the news has moved on, Puerto Rico is far from “recovered.” The death toll still rises and a huge portion of the island is still without access to electricity or clean water. Most of the population that had the means to leave the country already has, leaving those who have no other options. Many of the locals, while thankful for the international relief effort, unfortunately lament that much of the effort has finished and, worse yet, has not prepared them at all for this year’s hurricane seasons or future disasters.

    Darwin Animal Doctors was brought to Puerto Rico by Harimau Conservation. DAD has been working with Harimau Conservation for over a year now in Sumatra. Our projects have included rebuilding schools, rebuilding communities, and bringing knowledge sharing programs to the Leuser Ecosystem. Harimau Conservation is a Puerto Rican group, made up of local Puerto Ricans, who have an innate desire to help disadvantaged communities in precious ecosystems, that resemble Puerto Rico. Harimau Conservation started a local initiative in Puerto Rico, Rayo de Luna, to help rebuild the shattered neighbors and infrastructure alongside with the local communities. Rayo de Luna understands the power of knowledge, and endeavors to give communities the training to take care of themselves and prepare for future climate change disasters.

    Where there are communities with no access to drinking water, Rayo de Luna has been building basic water towers for them. Where there is no electricity, Rayo de Luna has been building solar power infrastructure for local communities to have electricity.

    We approached Rayo de Luna, asking if our DAD programs could benefit their efforts to rebuild Puerto Rico.  The answer was a resounding YES!

    We decided to work with Rayo de Luna instead of any other larger international relief group, because Rayo de Luna was made up of locals, who were embedded in the local communities, who understood local needs, values, and concerns. Their efforts have been targeted to the long term good of all who live in Puerto Rico. We decided to combine Rayo de Luna and DAD’s efforts to further our common goals in Puerto Rico: to foster long term sustainability while helping to rebuild with a focus on education infrastructure.

    First, we are helping the locals rebuild a huge wildlife reserve in Morovis, which was used by the surrounding communities. This includes building a new ecology laboratory, tree nursery, and butterfly nursery to start repopulating the native flora and fauna and research capacity for the local communities.

    Second, we are rebuilding the education infrastructure in the communities around the wildlife reserve at Morovis. Not only are we helping rebuild these primary schools around Morovis, and giving them our sustainability curriculum, but we are also helping train them to use the wildlife reserve to increase their research, observation, and cooperative project skills.

    Piggy’s education and hands on conservation by children in Puerto Rico!

    To read more about the Morovis Wildlife Reserve, Las Cabachuelas click here 

    To read more about the School Rebuilding and Education Program, click here

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  2. Education and Sustainability in Puerto Rico

    Education and Sustainability Program

    We began rebuilding schools around Morovis, starting with three, then five, now we are negotiating possibly 12 more. With them using our curriculum while we all rebuilt.

    We do still focus a lot of the education on our sustainability curriculum, but we also make a lot of the focus on getting the kids outside, moving, learning about their world by exploring it and empathizing with the animals they see. And, gathering seeds from the reserve, planting seedlings with them in the new school tree nursery.

    Sustainability and Advanced Skills for Children:

    Within our programs, the chidlren are learning a TON! However, regardless of the individual lesson content, want them specifically to gain critical thinking and cooperative project skills. Critical thinking skills are essential for them to begin being able to tackle future challenges, such as future climate change disasters. We also focus on cooperative project skills, in order to teach the children to work with others whom they would not normally have paired up with. Through this, the children learn the value that everyone can contribute no matter how different.

    Ongoing Legacy

    Our project’s influence is only beginning, it seems. Like in Sumatra, for each school we reach, many more schools approach us asking for the program as well. And these teachers really understand the goal as well. They also share the goals of critical thinking skills growth, cooperative project growth, and general preparedness for an ever developing future. Because they know what to expect as well.

    Thank you for your ongoing support. Please consider contributing to Darwin Animal Doctors, so we can continue projects around the world.

    To read more about the Morovis Wildlife Reserve, Las Cabachuelas click here 

    To read about the overview of our projects in Puerto Rico, click here

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  3. Las Cabachuelas

    Morovis Wildlife Reserve, Las Cabachuelas:

    The wildlife reserve at Morovis, Las Cabachuelas, is a huge reserve in the center of Puerto Rico, with a network of large caves, forests, rock walls, and countless wildlife. Rayo de Luna and DAD are partnering with Proyecto Cabachuelas to rebuild the reserve and the sustainability it offers to Puerto Rican communities.


    To see more photos of Las Cabachuelas, click here: http://lascabachuelas.org/gallery.html

    After Hurricane Maria, much of the reserve was damaged, from downed trees to broken fence borders, to any scientific structures in it. The entrances to the reserve became disused as well.

    View this post on Instagram

    Today, on the one year anniversary of the hurricane devastating Puerto Rico, we’re pleased to announce the launching of Piggy’s latest program: to rebuild communities in Puerto Rico, with a huge focus on long term sustainable education for the children growing up there. In partnership with the wonderful local Puerto Rican community leaders @joaquino_alonso and @glenisse, our first project will be to help the locals rebuild their wildlife reserve and education infrastructures at Morovis. The children in Piggy’s program will learn to teach conservation and train with local rangers, as we convert these disused playgrounds at the entrances of the wildlife reserve into children’s learning centers together. A huge thank you to @lushcharitypot and A Seed of Change for making it possible to begin working with communities in Puerto Rico! #reyodeluna #conservation #wildlife #humaneeducation #school #children

    A post shared by A Piggy's Tale (@a_piggys_tale) on

    In addition to rebuilding the reserve, replanting trees and making tree nurseries, we needed to make the butterfly nursery and laboratory. As one of our goals is to work with communities, we wanted students to get the knowledge and experience, so they would build it.

    The rest of the reforestation would happen in the education portion of the project. To learn more, click here

    To read about the overview of our projects in Puerto Rico, click here


    Please consider making a contribution to Darwin Animal Doctors, so we can continue our work in Puerto Rico and around the world.



    Make sure to follow Proyecto Cabachuelas on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/proyectocabachuelas/?utm_source=ig_profile_share&igshid=g8u4re23dzsn&fbclid=IwAR1cXQzbRw5Lm0zXUPxmgaTarzypcclfdbhFGppOaZxygMaOZ7T7Q0jp9Ns 

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