September 1, 2020 sayulitablog 0Comment

This month’s recipient of Sayulita Life’s $5,000 donation is El Centro Creativo y Reciclaje. In the summer of 2018, El Centro started a project with the support of the Mar y Vida surf camp. With the support of local donations raised, they were able to make ashtrays for the community of Sayulita out of resourced aluminum and plexiglass glass, for a durable build to withstand the intense Sayulita sun, heat, and overall tropical weather. However, recently, due to normal wear and tear, and unfortunate vandalism, these ashtray receptacles have been ruined and therefore taken down. They are in need of repair and some extra love and care. Sayulita Life’s donation will help purchase new materials to repair the ashtrays. This donation, along with the sourcing of old materials, will repair the cigarette containers to be good as new! Risa Machuca tells us more about the ashtrays and when they were first created.

Tell us about the cigarette dispensers and how it all started:

We wanted to provide an environmentally-conscious project for the local kids attending the Mar y Vida camp. Cigarette filters are the single-most collected item of trash picked up from our Sayulita beaches every year. This is some major ocean contamination, and we felt it was and is an important issue to address.

Who was involved in making this project happen originally? 

Originally it was the support from the Mar y Vida camp, El Centro, and local Sayulita resident donations. Also, the help from Nick, Tonia, Sebastian, Jahir, Risa, Diego and kids/counselors participating in the Mar y Vida camp at El Centro helped this project first come to life.

What was the inspiration for this project?

I originally saw these types of cigarette butt dispensers/ashtrays in Europe and thought, “this could work in Sayulita!” It was an interesting idea to me to have an interactive ashtray that people could use, and would hopefully also spread consciousness and awareness. 

Where were the originals located? What happened to them?

The originals were on three of the access ways to Sayulita’s main beach (one next to Capitan Pablo’s, one between Don Pedro’s and Luna Azul, and one by Mi Chaparrita.)  All three units are currently in storage at El Centro; they were taken down for repair just before Covid happened after we discovered they had been vandalized and worn down.

What will Sayulita Life's donation help to pay for in the theme of restoring or fixing the containers? 

Although the materials purchased have been durable, they have been vandalized and need some loving care to get back to use. Old and new materials will be sourced to repair the containers. Jair, from El Centro Creativo will restore the cases, but it will take him around 3 weeks to complete them.

I would just like to add that also donated to the Mar Y Vida program last Summer 2019; thanks to this, we made an oversized fish recycling container for plastic bottles. This fish has also sadly recently been taken from the beach, and we are desperately looking to get it back in its place soon, with the help of local businesses keeping an eye on it and trying to locate it. If anyone has information about its whereabouts, please contact me (Risa).

For more information about this project or about El Centro Creativo in Sayulita, please visit their Facebook Page.

*Since its founding in 2004, has been dedicated to giving back to the community of Sayulita. In our 15th year as a company, Sayulita Life has created the “Giving Fund”, where we have pledged to donate $5,000 pesos EVERY MONTH to a local charity or cause. Read more at

Written by: Aanya Sheikh-Taheri