This profile was prepared when María Elena Ordoñez Legarda was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
María Elena's organization is one of few in Ecuador devoted entirely to environmental education for children and is the only one using television and radio. She has produced a successful educational television show that captures young people's attention and imagination and turns them into proactive environmentalists. The program and its characters are informed by a network of teachers and schools trained to use educational materials. Educators incorporate environmentalism into their curricula while María Elena markets environmental club membership and projects to students around the region.