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Eco-activists Rise Up at Ranch Cotate


Eco-activists Rise Up at Ranch Cotate

The first time Global Student Embassy visited Ranch Cotate High School a year ago, during the school’s Unity Week - an annual celebration of multicultural exchange and learning - we heard from hundreds of frustrated students that several of the giant redwoods had been cut down in front of their school to accommodate the widening of the street to help with morning traffic. We knew instantly that we wanted to work with Rancho Cotate High School and support these students to become empowered Eco-activists.

What we didn’t know at the time was that we would be able to use the redwoods they had cut down to start a garden and build planter boxes. During GSE’s annual exchange program that brings youth leaders from our partner communities in Ecuador and Nicaragua to work with our partner schools in Northern California, Rancho Cotate High School students worked side by side their international peers to build planter boxes out of the redwood that was milled from the trees cut down last year.

Soil and mulch were generously donated from local businesses as are the seeds we will be sowing this year at a dedication ceremony for the schools new garden. The dedication ceremony will take place during Unity Week, when Rancho Cotate students will also learn more about the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua this summer to reconnect with the friends they made and support local school garden projects in Chacareseca.

“GSE has taught me how important it is to not just say what you want your community to look like, rather to take action towards a better community. Hosting a student from Ecuador also showed me how even with a language barrier if we share a common goal we can all come together and accomplish it even from other parts of the world.” - Hannah Bowling, Rancho Cotate High School student

We are so proud of our student leaders and our amazing teacher partners for turning this challenging situation into an incredible lesson for students and asset for the school for years to come.

Visit to learn more and to join us in developing community leaders through action oriented environmental education.”