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Class at an Altitude of 3,915 Meters

Volkswagen de México’s mountain lodge has stood near two volcanoes, Popocatépetl and Iztaccihuatl, since 2013. At this site a good hour-and-a-half from the Puebla plant, students and teachers learn about environmental protection and species conservation.

Likely one of the highest-altitude educational institutions: the mountain lodge in Izta-Popo National Park.

The area is secluded, but there is usually a lot going on at Volkswagen de México’s mountain lodge. Some 2,000 students and teachers have already visited the bamboo building in the midst of the beautiful, rugged mountains here, says Alma Alejandra Tiscareño Vizcarra. Biologist Tiscareño Vizcarra heads Volkswagen’s environmental education program in Mexico. “We talk to children and teachers about how important it is to maintain the delicate ecological balance, and what environmental protection and species conservation can do to help that.”

16 varieties of grass grow around the lodge. There are 230 animal species, including volcano rabbits, white-tailed deer, lynxes, peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawks and rattlesnakes. Holger Lange, “Think Blue.Factory.” Officer at the Puebla plant, explains, “Up here, we show off the more than 500,000 pine trees Volkswagen has planted over the past several years together with industry partners and the nature conservation authorities.”

In addition to aiding with drainage and serving as small retention dams, these trees help prevent erosion, which, in turn, allows rain water to better seep into the deeper layers of soil. This stabilizes the region’s groundwater levels, says Lange. “We’ve collected around 4.2 cubic meters of extra water since 2008. Potable water is a basic requirement for life – and a scarce resource needed to produce the Beetle, the Golf, the Jetta and the Tiguan.”