Forest Recreation

Are we ready? Here you will find dynamics that are geared towards increasing your trust in the environment and your partners, your self knowledge, your concentration, your creative expression, solidarity, reflection, and ecological knowledge. With these actions, we’re looking to nurture a relationship with the forest that acknowledges our emotional, intellectual, and social dimensions. Let’s begin!


Sound Map

When: during the walk

Type of action: rediscovering the sounds of the forest

With whom: individual

Materials: paper and pencil

Objectives: to listen with attention, discover, and locate sounds in the forest

Topic: The Sounds of the Landscape

1. Choose a space where you can sit comfortably.


2. On a sheet of paper, draw an X that covers the whole page.


3. Close your eyes for a period of 3 to 5 minutes.


4. Focus on hearing in order to discover the sounds of the landscape and distinguish where they come from. Are they in front of you or behind you? Are they next to you, near, or far?


5. Represent the sounds with drawings and place them on the paper according to the place where you perceived them. The center of the X indicates your position.


Photographic memory

When: during the walk

Type of action: sensory discovery

With whom: a partner

Objective:  to generate trust and concentration

Topics: Perceiving the Landscape

1. Pick a partner to carry out the next action.


2. Determine who will be the Guide and who will be the Camera on the first round.

a. The Camera closes their eyes so that the The Guide transfers them carefully to a space in nature that drew their attention because of its photographic potential.


• Guide, do you remember the forest layers described earlier? Let yourself be inspired by the forest’s big and small details for that picture to be unforgettable.


b. The Guide taps The Camera’s left shoulder, signaling them to open their eyes and take a photographic memory in one, two, three, four, five seconds. Be careful not to move; the image may come out blurry! Once the five seconds are up, The Guide taps The Camera’s left shoulder so that they close their eyes once again.


c. Now, The Guide takes The Camera to another panorama. Repeat the action three times before swapping.


d. Now, it is time to switch roles.


e. At the end of the rounds, talk about what you saw and felt.


• What surprised you when you opened your eyes?


• What feelings came up when you had your eyes closed and were being lead?


• Why did you choose those spaces as possible photographs?


• Could you make a drawing of your photographic memories?


The Forest Search

Moment: during the walk through El Angelito Trail

Type of action: species search

With whom: a partner

Materials: trail map, images, and a description of the species to be identified; it can be on your digital device or a printed sheet.

Objectives: to observe, discover and identify

Topics: Flora, Fauna, and Fungi

Welcome to the forest community Come meet us! This is a great opportunity for you to identify us with the following clues. First Clue: We are in El Yunque, in El Angelito trail. When you find us, you can draw or make a mark on the following map. If you’re up for it, you can take pictures of the identified species and share them on social media, using the #hashtags: #bosqueadentro #ccp #elyunque #elangelito #labúsquedaenelbosque and #laespecieidentificada.



Dacryodes excelsa Valh

Do you remember me? My family stays connected through roots! I am native of Puerto Rico, and I’m known as Tabonuco, “gomier”, and “candlewood.” My bark is of a reddish brown color, and my fragrant leaves are pinnations made of five and seven dark green leaves. My bark exudes a whitish resin that has a fragrant scent. The Puerto Rican Parrot loves to eat my seeds. When you find me, don’t hesitate to say hello. Where am I?


To see more Tabonuco images, you can go here.

Wood ear

Auricularia cornea

I feed off trunks and decaying wood. If you watch closely, you will see us attached to the trunk off which we are feeding, creating a pretty composition. Our brown color and gelatinous texture will grab your attention. I’m known as oreja de madera in Spanish, Wood Ear in English, and around the world they use me for food and natural medicine. If you see me around, don’t eat me! It’s important to always identify me first with an experienced micologist.


Can you hear what the wood says through me?

Espino rubial

Zanthoxylum martinicense

In Puerto Rico, I am known as Espino Rubial. My trunk? It’s long and has dispersed cone-shaped spikes. My crown?  It’s slightly thick with light green pine-shaped compound leaves. I have small, greenish white flowers. I love being in rainforests like this one. Look for me!


For more Espino Rubial  images, you can go here.

Banded snail

Caracolus bornii

I am a Banded Snail. Notice the spiral on my shell, and you will see a light coffee coloration and bands of a darker brown. I have two tentacles in my head that look like antennas, which is where my eyes and sensors are. Be careful: I’m a herbivore, and I love fallen leaves on the ground! My rhythm is slow. I go calmly through life and can live up to 10 years. Oh, and I’m a hermaphrodite, which means that I am female and male. If you watch closely, you might find me on a trunk or a tree.


Points of contact

When: during the walk.

Type of action: sensory rediscovery

With whom: a partner

Objective: to generate trust and stimulate the sense of touch

Topic: Biodiversity

1. Pick a partner to carry out this action.


2. Decide between the two of you who will be The Leaf and who will be The Seed.


3. The Leaf closes their eyes and is led by The Seed, who will take them around the forest touching five surfaces with their left hand. While keeping their eyes closed for the duration of the action, The Leaf will make contact with the surfaces, paying close attention to the texture, form, and smell of what they are touching. This will be done with five surfaces.


4. Once you have finished, talk about the sensations and feelings that came up during the action.


5. Change roles and repeat.

CAUTION : Be careful with the Ortiga Brava (Stinging Nettle). Touching it causes stinging pain, inflammation, and a burning sensation. Avoid touching them to prevent accidents.


Exploring the Forest

When: during the walk

Type of action: object search

With whom: in groups of two to three people

Materials: list of elements and images of species to be identified; it can be on your digital device or on a printed sheet.

Objective: to explore, search, and find diverse elements

Topic: Biodiversity

Do you think you can find the following elements without repeating any? Remember to look in all directions. To your right,  to your left, up, down, in front of you, behind you, here, and there!

Draw or write the name of what you find in the square next to the description. Remember to leave all the elements in their place to maintain a beautiful natural order.

1. Something that travels or moves


2. Something that absorbs water


3. Something pointy


4. Something with a strong smell


5. Something that has branches but no leaves


6. Something that makes a sound


7. Something triangular


8. Something that’s never been alive (abiotic)


9. Something sticky


10. Something with seeds or fruits


11. Something that’s food for an animal


12. Something with thorns


13. Something with a brilliant color


Identify these species during your walk on the trail:


Begonia degandra

For more Begonia images, you can go here.

American Melonleaf

Cayaponia americana

For more American Melonleaf images, you can go here.


Odontonema cuspidatum

For more Cardinal’s Guard images, you can go here.

Bejuco de calabazón

Philodendron consanguineum

For more Bejuco de Calabazón images, you can go here.

Camasey de ciénaga

Nepsera aquatica

For more Camasey de Ciénaga images, you can go here.

Helecho gigante

Cyathea arborea

For more West Indian Treefern images, you can go here.

Juan de Vargas

Phytolacca rivinoides

For more Venezuelan Pokeweed images, you can go here.

Higuillo oloroso

Piper glabrescens

For more Higuillo Oloroso images, you can go here.

Asian Spikemoss

Selaginella plana

Stinging Nettle

Urera baccifera

For more Stinging Nettle images, you can go here.

San Pedrito

Todus portoricensis


Anolis cuvieri


Lichens, the Forest Artists

When: during the walk

Type of action: creative

With whom: individual

Materials: paper and pencil or color pencils

Objectives: to identify and observe carefully the form, color, and texture of lichens

Topic: Lichens

Reminder: Leave nothing but your tracks. You can keep the materials in your backpack.

Lichens are organisms that form through symbiosis between algae and fungi. They look like spots and, because of their resistance to extreme conditions, live on rocks, soil, tree barks, and leaves.


Can you recognize a lichen on a tree bark or a stone? Once you find one that really causes an impression on you, look at the details of its form, texture, and colors. Translate what you see into a drawing on a sheet of paper. What other forms or shapes does the lichen suggest? Think of as many creative shapes as you can.


…I have seen you with living eyes

like the open eyes of the forests,

picturing myself in laughter and swimming in creeks

into the ocean.


-Julia de Burgos


How do We Feel?

Now, after drinking some water and recovering a bit, we can express to the group how we feel after this experience in the forest. One big circle works as a starting point. You can use the following guiding questions to express yourselves one by one.


Let’s remember that we all don’t feel comfortable participating in this way, so let’s be considerate with those who may wish to keep their experience to themselves.


You can use the Feelings Vocab to do this exercise.

• How was I feeling when I got here? I felt curious, tired, bored, excited, energetic, happy, calm, hungry, anxious, sad, or inspired.

• How did I feel during the actions? I felt distracted, excited, open, closed, disillusioned, energetic, surprised, cautious, nervous, or bored.

• What surprised me?

Describe your experience in one word.



About CLC

The Center for Landscape Conservation (CLC, or Centro para la Conservación del Paisaje in Spanish) is a Puerto Rican nonprofit corporation whose main goal is to advance participatory practices of sustainability to the scale of the landscape. To achieve this, CLC offers technical assistance and support to agencies, institutions, farmers, landowners, and community groups for the development of local projects.