Oct 02 2016

This was the second year that Sayulita participated in the worldwide event, sponsored once again by Costa Verde International School (CVIS) on September 19th. Approximately 50 volunteers, consisting of CVIS staff, students and parents, as well as other community members, including Tracie Willis of ChocoBanana, assembled at 9am on a beautiful Saturday morning in front of El Break Café.

Andy Slavin of CVIS rallied the participants, providing direction and handing out bags to collect the garbage. Teams were assembled and each tackled a different section of the beach and river with an undeniable sense of community present.

The intention, says Andy, is threefold. “One is that the whole community can participate, two is to create an awareness, for the kids to participate and see things in a different light, to be good stewards, and three, for the kids to participate alongside the adults, providing some role modeling, and doing things side by side that supports and is good for the environment.”

He continues, “Some may see it as superficial, as in what impact will this really make? Cleaning up the garbage is certainly an objective, but it’s the act of doing it that’s really important. Saying this is our beach and we are going to take care of it, bringing the community together, and creating that awareness. The big thing is the connection between the adults and the kids working side by side, doing something positive.”

This annual International Cleanup is a great opportunity for kids to see the impact that casually littering can create, showing them a firsthand sampling of the kind of garbage that ends up in the ocean.

CVIS intends, similarly to last year, to repurpose any recyclable materials that were collected. Last year, for example, the plastic soda bottles that were recovered were used to create a recycling receptacle by the middle school students. Andy goes on, “I’m very keen to see what we recover and to see what we might be able to do with it. It’s a learning experience. The idea is just being out there and being together. There will be a lot of energy and something good will come out of that. It’s really about the community building, the alliances. These things take time, but are important. Tying into the global connection is essential…there’s a community in Bali doing this, a community in Australia, this is far reaching.”

Gabe Jones, a local resident, notes that in addition to getting the community involved, “this is a great opportunity to meet and welcome the new teachers to town, and to hug it off with the parents new and old.”

El Break offered a generous discount to participants on meals after the cleanup. There was also live music.