For many decades, you must have heard about the importance of our role in protecting our environment. How our day-by-day actions and habits must change in order to secure the future of a healthy life, from small actions like being responsible with our use of water and energy, classifying our trash, recycling, reusing and reducing.
However, there is a far more important key element for achieving the conservation of our natural environment and all the life that habits inside. It consists of all the actions that must be taken by humans regarding the protection of the life that surrounds us.
This job is taken care of by our Forest Rangers, it is not an easy task for them to take care of an entire area: Teamwork is an essential quality of them, Compassion, love and determination are just some of the many values these people practice with ease every day.
Years back, I had the opportunity to meet and speak with many Forest Rangers and here are some of the things they´ve mentioned that I believe we could all learn from:
“I am very proud of our work, because we look after the safety and wellness of animals”
“The forest itself feels like it is calling out for us, we come to work looking forward to entering and enjoy the feeling of being home… This Natural Reserve belongs to everyone. Protecting, serving, and taking care of it is a job we all, as a community, have learned to do”
“When you work for so long in a space like we do, nature becomes a part of you, wherever you go you know it follows you, the air, the rain, the birds, and their songs… You will never feel alone”
These daily heroes risk their life and their family time and invest it into protecting and defending the natural resources of everyone. You can sense a sentiment of loyalty to life and nature itself. They know their trees, the birds that habit them, the butterflies, snakes, and foxes. They see how nature works and most importantly they learn from it and respect it.
Even when most of them don’t have a bachelor’s degree, their work can only be described as determined, passionate and constant. They know the laws, they know the benefits of the plants. Hearing their experiences is quite interesting and informative, you will certainly learn something you may never find in a book or an article.
This might be the most important aspect of Forest Rangers, the impact they have in their communities and families. All these values are taught through generations, from grandparents dedicated to working the land in agriculture, to ancestors who have always been involved in saving the natural environment.
Teaching the next and current generations all what nature has to offer us has to be one of the best ways to leave a legacy, securing the future generations with a healthy environment that will provide as long as it receives the protection and maintenance it needs.
Every second Friday of September in Guatemala we celebrate these important Guardians who give their life to protect nature and teach future generations its importance and how humans can live in connection with it.