He Spanish Youth Institute (INJUVE), dependent on the Ministry of Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, has recognized the municipal school hiking program of Estepona as an example of an initiative that could be reproduced in other territorial areas of our country, which has been included in its Catalog of local experiences made up of 74 alternatives, as reported this Thursday by the Councilor for Heritage, Youth and Sports, Daniel García.

The municipal official explained that for the Consistory it is “an enormous satisfaction” that an experience that was launched since 2013 has become a benchmark for other municipalities in our country who are interested in offering initiatives of youth interest.

INJUVE has included in its last Catalog of RedSIJ Local Experiences of Work with Youth 2023 this municipal initiative for the work it does with students from the city, for being a good practice and for the methodology used.

This recognition also means that the school hiking program can be consulted by those interested in the Catalogue online that INJUVE has published with the 74 experiences that have been selected at the national level.

García recalled that the school hiking program was promoted to promote healthy activities among the youth population, specifically, among Primary and Secondary students from the 17 educational centers in Estepona.

Routes through natural enclaves

On the other hand, he indicated that the City Council offers a series of hiking routes to be carried out through different natural enclaves of the municipality and around several rivers of great environmental interest. In this way, the students, between the ages of 6 and 17, get closer to the rich natural heritage of Estepona and appreciate the importance of protecting its scenic, cultural and historical values, among other aspects.

The different routes, which are offered throughout the course to the different educational centers and which are always guided by two municipal technicians who interpret the route, also encourage active participation in environmental conservationinstill basic knowledge of hiking and encourage aspects related to education in values ​​and the development of social skills.

Since this municipal initiative was launched, each year around 3,500 primary and secondary students participate in the almost 70 excursions that take place from November to May. These routes have a medium-low level of complexity and last approximately three and a half hours.

The itineraries chosen by the educational centers from Estepona have passed through various natural spaces in the municipal area, such as the Nicola-Río Velerín-Río Castor path, and through the surroundings of Sierra Bermeja. These routes are carried out during school hours and are guided by municipal technicians, with the support of the teachers of the schools and institutes.

In addition to hiking, students do different interpretation activities of the natural environment, the study of flora and fauna, and participatory environmental games.

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