The Municipality of Vieques has signed a usufruct agreement with the Vieques Conservation and Historical Trust transferring the use of the abandoned school ‘Escuela Barbosa’ to the Trust. The site will house an electronic library, and will provide informal training for children and adults. It will also be used as a scientific research station — the first in Vieques.
The VCHT held the first activity at the site, with former teachers, directors and the Mayor in attendance, as well as a group of excited children. The Municipal Band provided musical entertainment before the more formal presentation given by Executive Director, Lirio Márquez D’Acunti and Mark Martin Bras, Director of Community Relations. They described the project as the “rebirth” of Escuela Barbosa as a community resource. They plan to raise funds to provide an electronic library that will allow Viequenses not only to do research but also to take university and other courses given over the internet. The plans call for a scientific research station that would bring scientists to Vieques to study important current problems such as the effects of global warming on corals or possibly to investigate thebioluminescence in PUerto Mosquito. Part of the plan is to provide new employment for Vieques residents at the site and to help train youth to assist in scientific research.
The VCHT also plans to have a garden at the site where members of the community can brush up their organic gardening skills.
The Mayor of Vieques, Evelyn Delerme Camacho commented that this was an opportunity for Viequenses to work together for a better future for the children of the island