Educational Garden

August 2015


Museums from around the world come together

Common Ground Garden Builds Bridges

COMMON GROUND GARDEN in Copan Ruinas, Honduras


CASA K’INICH CHILDREN’S MUSEUM  Copan, Honduras The Casa K’inich Children’s Museum, and the The Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum (MCARLM), based in San Lorenzo County Park, California are in the final stages of their Common Ground Gardens, funded through a Museums Connect grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the American Alliance of Museums.

Both Museums have completed gardening days, video conferencing days and after school projects.  In April of 2015, the Monterey Count Agricultural and Rural Life Museum team visited Copan Ruinas to see the garden site and meet the participants.  The three day intercultural exchange was filled with activities including visits to the ancient ruins, town museums, sculpture museums, a cheese making factory and on the final day there was a barbeque at the Macaw Mountain Bird Sanctuary and Nature Reserve.  In May, 2015 the Casa K’inich Children’s Museum team visited King City, California and toured agricultural developments; a winery, seed planting operations and toured northern California agricultural areas.  These two unforgettable intercultural visits culminate the Common Ground Connecting Communities through Gardens project which began in June of 2014.  All participants young and old have come away with new friends, and a knowledge about each others communities and they all plan on keeping in contact in the future.   The experience is one that won’t be forgotten especially by those Hondurans who had never traveled beyond their town.  The travelers to California were surprised to find that Spanish is the main language spoken in most of the agricultural areas and met many other Hondurans along the way who now live in the United States.  In July, 2015 there will be a cookbook published and ready for distribution.  Look for more updates as we continue with this bilateral garden project.  Below are some highlight photographs of the project.

The Casa K’inich Common Ground Garden is located at Macaw Mountain Bird Park and Nature Reserve. The project involves 20 area participants who have garden days; video chats via Skype with U.S. Participants and other after school activities.  After the project ends in July 2015, the participants will remain connected as pen pals and via Skype through on-line chats. In July the participants will receive cookbooks with recipes they chose to have published.  In April 2015 five members of the California organizational team visited Copan and the garden site for four days of cultural interaction.  In May, 2015 Casa K’inich representatives visited King City, California and MCARLM to continue the dialogue between the organizations and student participants. To follow our progress be sure to visit our Facebook page, websites, or tweet us @copanmaya.

For further information about the Casa K’inich Children’s Museum please contact 504 2651 4103 or Paola Carias, Communications Steward 504 2651 3829 or  For further information about the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum, please contact Jessica Potts, Executive Director at or Meg Clovis, Cultural Affairs Manager, , 831-755-4913.

For further information about the American Alliance of Museums’ Museums Connect program, please contact Dewey Blanton, Director of Strategic Communications,, tel. 202-218-7704

About Casa K’inich Children’s Museum
To cultivate the next generation of Hondurans to care for the World Heritage Site of Copan, the Copan Association collaborated with Honduran, Guatemalan, and US designers, scholars, and builders, and “Casa K’inich” opened in February 2002. Casa K’inich, or “House of the Sun” has been featured in newspapers and magazines in six nations. Since opening, it has welcomed over 100,000 visitors. Children learn through play in this interactive learning center. Visitors dress Copan’s nobles with magnetized clothes, try on ballgame equipment and watch a re-enactment of the ballgame, practice Maya math and writing and learn how to count in Ch’orti’, a Mayan language.

About AAM
The American Alliance of Museums is the largest museum service organization in the world, serving all types of museums, including art, history, science, botanic gardens, zoos and aquariums. AAM helps museums serve their communities by developing standards and best practices, offering professional training and resources and serving as the national voice of museums for the public, media, and elected officials. Working on behalf of 35,144 museums, 400,000 museum employees, thousands of volunteers and the visitors who come to museums 850 million times each year, AAM is dedicated to bolstering museums in promoting lifelong learning, celebrating cultural heritage, and inspiring the creative skills to compete in a global economy. For more information, visit

About the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) promotes international mutual understanding through a wide range of academic, cultural, private-sector, professional and sports exchange programs. The Bureau’s exchanges engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes and emerging leaders in many fields in the United States and in more than 160 countries. Alumni of ECA exchanges comprise over one million people around the world, including more than 50 Nobel Laureates and more than 320 current or former heads of state and government. For more information, visit