In 2018, our Yanacocha operation in Peru, through its community foundation Asociación Los Andes de Cajamarca (ALAC), opened the state-of-the-art Museum of Water and Earth – a unique experiential learning center for the Cajamarca region.
The museum, housed in ALAC’s offices, incorporates input from Peru’s Ministry of Education, the National University of Cajamarca, and Newmont’s global partner Project WET. Docents – mostly students from the National University of Cajamarca – guide children and adults through 11 modules to learn about water, geology, space and other fundamentals of natural resources via interactive displays and experiments designed to encourage questions and discovery. A mobile exhibition, in partnership with the National Council of Science, Technology and Innovation (CONCYTEC), extends access to the experience to rural communities.
Marco Rinaldi, CONCYTEC’s Director of Policy and Programs related: “We at CONCYTEC are proud to work with ALAC on this initiative that provides a space for scientific discovery at all levels.”
The museum complements ALAC’s ongoing environmental and sanitation education program (EDUSA), which partners with the Ministry of Education, SEDACAJ (the local water company) and Project WET to develop a curriculum that deepens scientific knowledge, life skills and environmental stewardship. In 2018, the program certified 64 teachers.
Following the Project WET workshop, teacher Marleny Villegas from the Santa Teresita College, shared: “This workshop was very gratifying. While we have knowledge of these topics, it opens doors to work with different strategies with our students. Plus, it’s a very dynamic methodology, which surpassed our expectations.”
The teachers are empowered to use local materials – from empty bottles to strings and cans – to transform their classrooms into fun, interactive exploratory environments where children learn about water conservation, hygiene and waste management practices, and develop the skills essential to becoming environmental stewards.
The museum supports our efforts to expand the local community’s water management capacity through the development of water education programs for current and future leaders. It also aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to ensure access to water and sanitation (SDG-6) and to advance the goals through strong local, national and global partnerships (SDG-17).