The roads are made walking, said Antonio Machado
Therefore, when you look back, and look at the lines you have drawn, it is easier to understand where you are going … Life makes us, at least as much as we make it. Who was it that said that living is what happens to you while you insist on planning other things? As in the case of many people, in my story there are key moments, experiences that inevitably marked the path. Some of them took place in my childhood
With my Grandmother I learned to Love the Earth
I barely knew how to read when my grandmother suffered a severe nervous breakdown. The memories of the war and the regime of terror she lived in her youth, almost drove her crazy. The psychiatrist advised her to take trips to the countryside, he said that pure air would do her good. We started traveling through the most remote mountains, for weeks, even months. We led a feral life and, most of all, walked. I remember that we picked blueberries and, to transport them, we skewered them in a blade of grass. We liked to climb to the summits, where the wind hits the hardest; there we felt truly free. Little by little, almost without realizing it, my grandmother was healing : she was much calmer, more confident and lived until her 90s in good health. Nature had healed her wounds, brought her the balance that the human world could not offer her. With my grandmother I learned to love the Earth, and to appreciate its generous care.
Student of a modern school
Shortly after, I had to move from a modern school , with orchard and assemblies, without homework, or textbooks, to a tougher one, with a cemented playground, strictly enforced discipline, and even punishments. I usually say that it was then that I became a pedagogue : although I was completely unaware of the theories, I already knew exactly which of the two scenarios was more positive for me. From a young age, I was interested in understanding the human being , that rare species to which we belong. That’s why I studied Philosophy and Psychology. Later in life, as a student, I accompanied boys and girls who suffered various disorders. They were wonderful beings, although they were often misunderstood and suffered serious emotional deficiencies, even though, often, they had everything they could want on a material level. This experience made me feel great compassion towards childhood. I understood that the “modern” lifestyle puts many obstacles to a healthy development. After finishing my studies, I entered an Education Institute founded by two former collaborators of Ivan Illich and Paolo Freire. Together with them I discovered the meaning of Humanist Pedagogy and learned to work in multidisciplinary teams. I will never forget the richness of our conversations, that all academic barriers were skipped, and the humanity of my fellows.
Understanding the relationship of Humans with Nature
It was only later that research on our relationship with Nature became the center of my life. When I decided to have a baby , the urban environment in which I found myself did not seem the most suitable for raising a child. I felt the call of the jungle! Leaving the consulting agency in which I worked was a difficult decision, which brought a great change to my life. Some people did not understand why a professional like myself would leave a brilliant career in Paris, to move to a town in nowhere Extremadura. But what I learned with the small group of children that I was lucky to accompany in a beautiful forest , was even richer and deeper than the most sophisticated methodologies: I learned that, if we know how acquire the capability to to recognize the needs of children and accompany their natural processes with love and confidence, there is no intelligence greater than the intelligence of Life . I remembered that our existence is an unparalleled gift that Earth gives us every day, that enormous Living Being on which we depend completely and to which we owe recognition, care and respect.
My first book
A few years later, I wrote about these experiences in my first book: Green Education, where i laid conceptual basis of an education in contact with nature. The work inspired, and continues to inspire tens of thousands of people, to take the first step to renaturalize the lives of children and youths all over Spain and many countries in south america. Shortly after, I felt the need to complete it with a second publication: Sit Still and Listen!, where I reflect on the main causes of childhood disorders and offer clues to create healthier environments. The relationship of the human being with Nature is a source of continuous inspiration for my work. I hope to contribute to fostering our innate bond of love for the Earth, that deep feeling that Eric From and Edward Wilson called Biophilia.
For a Biocentric Society
I am convinced that education plays a fundamental role in the necessary transition to a biocentric society , I continue to research and learn every day to help bring this about. My efforts, together with those of many other people, girls, boys, youth, families, teachers, professors and professionals from fields as diverse as Medicine, Architecture, Sociology, Biology, Psychology, Arts, Permaculture, Engineering .. are focused on the same vision: a culture capable of sustaining Life, of ensuring the well-being and continuity of our species, and of all beings with whom we share this wonderful planet.