CARTITILLA is a semester-long conservation education program provided in partnership with the local rural community schools for students in 7th to 9th grades. The CARTITILLA program creates awareness about the challenges facing cotton-top tamarins and teaches students how they can help to protect cotton-top tamarins. Through story telling, games, arts and crafts, and role playing, the CARTITILLA program builds a connection between students and nature that leads to the development of life-long conservation values. Each student has the opportunity to bring the lessons of the CARTITILLA program to life by a visit to the forest to meet one of our long-term study groups of cotton-top tamarins. Meeting these animals builds an emotional connection to the students and gives them a reason to get involved in helping to protect them.
Since 2010 more than 2,500 students of four schools in six rural communities have participated in this program. At the end of the program students have shown to have a significant increase in conservation knowledge and that after the program they understand the challenges facing cotton-top tamarins and their forest habitat as well as potential solutions to support their long-term conservation.