profile abbie caldasAbbie Caldas

I earned my BA in Psychology and Child Development in Ontario and then took a course in Perspectives of Global Citizenship in Vancouver where I began exploring human's impact on the environment. I completed my Master's in Sustainable Development in London, UK and then worked for a social enterprise which supported resource efficiency through community networks. I returned home to work as the Education Offer at the Bermuda National Trust where I took students to explore nature reserves, as part of experiential learning.

Occupation?
Environmental educator: engaging people, mostly young ones, to learn about, enjoy and protect the environment. My favourite part is seeing the kids that might usually 'act up' be at the front of the group with full attention, completely engaged in the adventure, using their energy, creativity and getting excited about their surroundings.

What would you like to see change in your lifetime?
I would love to see people having a better connection with the natural world. Too often we are bombarded by technology and media and things that distance us from it. Particularly in children, I feel they need to build this connection as they develop certain life skills. Childhood is about climbing trees and getting dirty and I am saddened when kids have more interest in cell phones than bugs. As adults, we may lose these opportunities to experience real life and not even notice it. I hope to see people come to the understanding that when we keep ourselves open to the natural world, we will be better off - as individuals and as a whole - in both the short and long term.

Why should we care about Bermuda's development?
The same innate reason we care about our children and grandchildren and their future, with all its potential. We are a part of where we live and our island, and our planet's well-being is our responsibility. Many current conversations are about social or economic issues but we are slowly realizing that they are all connected and the environment is a key part of everything!

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