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What motivates Victoria?


My name is Victoria and I am 18 years old.

I’ve been living in Rosário da Limeira for 10 years now. We moved here when I was 7, and before that I was living nearby in the district of Belisário,  where my father’s family came from.

My relationship with Iracambi began through my family who are all very connected to the surrounding area. The first time I came to Iracambi I walked over there, and, shortly after that, some guys from Iracambi appeared at my school and gave a presentation about the research center. And that reawakened my interest in the place!  So I decided to go back there to learn more, and one day on Instagram I saw that they were giving an online course of Environmental Education. 

I’ve always loved nature and connecting it with children sounded beautiful to me. So, during the pandemic, in January 2022, I enrolled in the online course and spent a month learning how to teach children about the environment through play. I loved how the  course was structured, there were some teachers with a background in theater who really helped me to get to know myself better, improve my way of communicating, and overcome my shyness. There were lots of cool dynamics in this course!

 I didn’t want to stop there, and my fascination with Iracambi prompted me to apply to join the Eco Leaders course  Around 20 potential participants – all teenagers – submitted their reasons for wanting to join the five month course, and what they expected to learn. And I was one of the lucky ones who was chosen! Each month we focus on a different topic: sunshine, water, flora, fauna and minerals. The four hours a week that we spend at Iracambi are never dull: we go trekking, we learn about medicinal plants and essential oils, we make our own soaps and a lot more. 

I think that fighting for the cause of reforestation is very important these days, and we have to encourage the local population to value the forest – which is exactly what Iracambi is doing. And, as an extra bonus, Iracambi enables me to get to know people from different cultures  and backgrounds. 

So what’s my secret? Now I have a better understanding of the importance of water, soils and sunshine, and how we can add value to the forests. This is what is lacking, because people don’t have the awareness or the understanding. So that is what we need to change! 



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