Earth Train was started in 1990 by accomplished youth leaders from around North America and formally launched in June 1991 by Sweden’s Claes Nobel at an event in the UN General Assembly Hall before 2,000 diplomatic, business, civic, and youth leaders with the purpose of providing young people with the skills, practical experience, and global network of support they need to develop into effective leaders in fields contributing to the global quality of life.
Through the 90's, Earth Train served numerous youth organizations around the US, and in 23 countries and native nations. As part of its "Youth Calling Youth to Action" campaign, Earth Train operated actual trains for high-visibility educational events and television, radio, and internet broadcasts. During that time, Earth Train provided unforgettable learning experiences - from youth-led workshops to international conferences and expeditions - for over 14,000 young people.
The New Earth Train
"To those of you whose memories of Earth Train revolve around train journeys, trainings, and conferences worldwide, you're in for a surprise: Our work over the years to establish a permanent international base in Panama has stimulated evolutionary change. Earth Train has gone from covering thousands of miles with a variety of programs to land and community-based activities focused on ecological and cultural renewal. What remains unchanged, however, is our commitment to the adventure of learning by doing and to exploring new ideas and new approaches to leadership suited to a rapidly changing world."
- Nathan Gray, Founder and Co-Director, Earth Train
Starting in 2001, Earth Train concentrated on establishing a permanent international base in the Republic of Panama, where a group of Earth Train staff and teams of young volunteers built Centro Mamoní on the southwest border of the Kuna Yala, and partially renovated the 9,000 square-foot Casa Arias in Panama City's Casco Antiguo to serve as the organization's key facilities for administration and programs.
In 2004, Earth Train began creating the Mamoni Valley Preserve in partnership with Rainforest Capital, LLC, a socially-positive company based in San Francisco, California. The Preserve now encompasses 10,000 acres around Centro Mamoní in the watershed of the upper Río Mamoní. Under the direction of a number of key figures in a multi-disciplinary advisory team including Glenn Adelson; the Preserve’s life-science advisory board co-chaired by Healy Hamilton, Ph.D., of the Califiornia Academy of Sciences; Nathan Gray; Colin Wiel; and landscape designer Edwina von Gal, Earth Train is working to develop the Preserve into an internationally-recognized campus for research, education and training in the fields of Conservation Biology and Restoration Ecology. This campus will serve as a model for sustainable community design and socially-positive investment in technologies, services, and products of sustainable development.
Explore Earth Train
Learn about Earth Train, our programs, the Mamoní Valley Preserve and more in our Mamoní Valley Programs Report by Nathan Gray and Líder Sucre.
The 10,000-acre Mamoní Valley Preserve: a world campus for education, restoration, training in biocultural restoration and conservation and sustainable development.
Check out our press section and articles authored by Earth Train founder Nathan Gray