Sayulita is slowly but surely becoming more eco-conscious, and it seems more people are looking for ways to improve the health, safety, and overall sustainability of our pueblo. Enzo Ackermann, a young, local, Sayulita resident, has created an impressive campaign and project that will create and install multiple water refill stations throughout our town, in order to reduce the need to buy plastic water bottles. Enzo tells me about his project, how he started it, and how you can help him achieve his goal and support his cause.
First, tell readers a bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you love about our community of Sayulita?
My name is Enzo Ackermann, and I am thirteen years old. I was born in Los Angeles, California, and moved to Sayulita, Mexico when I was only five days old! I attended a green school called Colegio Costa Verde until the 6th grade, when I switched to homeschooling in order to surf and train more. Training is important to me because my goal is to become a professional surfer. Additionally, Sayulita is important to me because it is my home, my playground, and my sanctuary. I have always loved everything about this town- the people, the local culture, the beautiful beaches, and scenery. I love being in Sayulita because it is a small, close-knit community, and it allows me to be in the water all day doing what I love.
Explain your project, “Agua Libre”- what is your mission and/or what do you hope to accomplish with it?
Agua Libre is a non-profit organization that will provide the people of Sayulita with free, clean, filtered water refilling stations. We hope that by installing the refill stations we can cut down on the use of single-use plastic water bottles. This is important because plastic water bottles take hundreds of years to break down, and they usually end up in our oceans, killing, trapping, or poisoning marine life. It is said that we produce 20,000 water bottles every SECOND; if everyone would carry a reusable water bottle instead of buying plastic ones, and had access to filtered water, there would no longer be a reason to buy single-use plastic water bottles. Imagine the impact that such a simple act would have on our plastic footprint. I hope that Agua Libre will accomplish this, as well as spread to all areas of the world in need of filtered water, so that we can all work together to reduce plastic pollution.
Why did you decide to begin this project? What was the inspiration or passion behind it?
I decided to focus on this project and on our overuse of plastic water bottles because I noticed so many times when I went surfing, that people would bring plastic water bottles to the beach, and almost everyone was disposing of them incorrectly or leaving them on the beach. Another inspiration to start this project was the lack of drinkable water in Sayulita. I go surfing in town with my little brother at least once a day, and we always take our own water bottles. Sometimes we spend longer than we expect at the beach and so our water runs out; we usually end up fighting over the last sip. Because of this, I realized that there are very few places where we can refill our water bottles, and that made me think this was something our town really needed and could benefit from.
How can others help with this project or get involved?
The most important thing is that everyone commits not to use single-use plastics, as this is our end goal. Agua Libre is in need of donations in order to cover the costs of creating the water refill stations, the installation, and the maintenance. You can find us at the farmers market, (Mercado del Pueblo), every Friday where we will be selling really cool reusable, insulated water bottles and stickers in order to raise money for our project. Others who want to help can also make a donation through our website.
What do you hope is the final outcome of this project, or how do you hope it benefits our community in the long run?
The mega goal of Agua Libre is to provide clean, free, filtered water to everyone, and to completely stop the use and need for single-use plastic water bottles. I hope that we will soon be seeing less plastic water bottles on our beaches and overflowing in our trash cans.
Tell us about your upcoming fundraiser event and how others can get involved.
Our fundraiser event will take place on Tuesday, January 28th, 2020, at Punta Sayulita Beach Club, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. One of our favorite chefs, Sam Frances, from Achara Thai Restaurant in Sayulita, will be cooking up some delicious appetizers and making cocktails. Tickets are $500 pesos per person, and are available online at our website, or they can be purchased at the door. All of the funds raised will go toward the costs of getting the water refill stations installed and maintained throughout Sayulita. We hope to see you all there!
*Written by: Aanya Sheikh-Taheri