By Stella Tsolakidou
The cultural center Hippocrates Garden is located in Mastichari on the island of Kos. It is an exact replica of an Ancient Greek philosophical center of the 5th century BC. It specializes in the revival of the ancient Greek way of life at the time when the great Greek doctor lived.
The center consists of an “Oikos “: an ancient Greek house – exact replica of the houses of that period, a Philosophers’ Arcade with three museums and libraries, a Stone Built Theater, a botanical garden, and a temple.
The center is co-funded by the European Union through the programs Leader+ in 2008. It is a unique idea attempted to be created as a cultural center based on ancient Greek architecture, philosophy and history. The center has been visited by 3,000 children from Greece and abroad during the last four years. With their help, the organizers of the center have planted to this day 2,000 trees, herbs and food plants.
The visiting children have also attended seminars about recycling and have recycled more than a ton of items. In the center they also learn about the benefits of the Mediterranean diet and the need for protection of all wild life.
In 2010 the Hippocrates Garden created the film Gaia, a poem to mother earth, (sponsored by local Greek companies) which was presented in many environmental film festivals around the world. The movie is based on a poem written about the Greek goddess of the Earth, Gaia.
To date, the center has worked with groups of people from all around the world on projects like history, philosophy, the ancient medicine of Hippocrates, botanology, traditional arts and environmental protection. The center’s basic revenues come from visitors in the summer time, who unfortunately aren’t many since the 1.5 km road to the Center is not asphalt.
That is the main and only problem in order to increase visitor numbers. Local travel agents are deterred by the same access problem to include the Center in their tours, although they find it interesting and unique.
Organizers have already asked the local municipality for help, but current financial difficulties are postponing any intention of help. Today that the crisis in Greece is stronger than ever, the center is trying to find sponsors from all around the world to help them construct the road and continue their work for the good of the children and all visitors who want to learn more about ancient Greek culture and civilization.
Anyone willing to offer any kind of help is most welcome. For more information visit the official website of the center: www.hippocratesgarden.gr