Since 2001, all primary school students in the State of Colima, on the north pacific coast of Mexico, have benefited from a practical and on going ecological education. As well as being taught about the environment as part of their natural science classes, they take part in nine play-based workshops that help them discover different species and become aware of environmental issues (the water cycle, waste problems and the equilibrium of the environment, for example). These workshops take place at the ‘Tortugario de Cuyutlán’ preservation centre, which studies the natural behaviour of sea turtles, iguanas, crocodiles and various species of birds, and helps them to reproduce. 45 000 students have benefited from the programme. The project is supported at the highest level, as the president of the Environmental Protection Commission for Colima is given a place on the management of Tortugario.