March 25, 2024 Zoey Glavicich 0Comment

You might have seen us post the monthly flyer in El Sayulero for a while now- every first Tuesday of the month for the past year our community has been getting together to do some good- clean up the beach. But this get-together didn't just happen on it's own! This month we sat down with Greer Fawcett, the activist who put together this wonderful event and keeps it going- with the help of many others! 

Hi Greer! Can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit of how you came to Sayulita?
My name is Greer Fawcett and I moved to Sayulita in December 2020. I am a total victim of Stayulita, as I came on family vacation and fell in love with it! I initially stayed a month at My Sisters House and fell so in love with it that I went home and packed up my things and moved here in December 2020.

What inspired you to start the Sayulita Beach Clean-Up?
I started the initiative with an earth day event in 2023. What I saw in Sayulita is that there were so many groups that wanted to do good things for the community, but because we were so many individual groups we weren't necessarily working together towards a common good. So during the earth day event I decided to bring all those groups together. We had about 10 local nonprofits participating in the first event. After that the World Wildlife Fund got involved with their program Olas y Redes. Luckily because they got involved and funded the beach clean up, we were able to start doing it on a month to month basis. So that is how the beach clean up started!

What was the first one like and how has it evolved in the last year?
The first one we had around 150 people come out, it was so great to see the community at full force. We noticed we had a lot of foreign participation. But now, the longer we run the program, the more real local attention we have been attracting.

Last month, after a full year, was the first month we only gave the clean-up instructions in Spanish. Previously we had to give them in English and Spanish. Our big goal was to really work with people on an extremely local level. It was so cool to watch the local community participate and even come back. We have people who don't just come to one clean up but come back again and again to every clean up.

I heard you guys are breaking records with how much trash you've collected!
Yes, we are breaking records with how much trash we've collected! The most we've collected so far is 200kg! On average we probably do 100-150kg. I always try to challenge folks to see if we can beat last month's clean up!

Can anyone join?
Yes, everybody can join. We have people of all ages, with primaria aged children from Costa Verde, all the way to volunteers in their 70’s. We have people from all over the world come, from the US, France, Canada, other parts of Mexico, etc. It's so cool to see everyone get involved, especially the kids from the primaria. I love working with the kids because they get so excited about some of the things they find. We make it into a game that the adults can play too. This makes it more fun for everyone, creating a special moment to learn together as a team. Kids are the most consistent volunteers who come to our clean-up. It's really cool seeing the kids learn so much and by the second clean up they'll be able to answer where all the recycling is done in town, what can be recycled etc. A great thing about the kids coming is that they bring their parents!  So that's really cool.

When are the clean ups and what do people need to bring?
The clean-ups are the first Tuesday of every month, at 5pm. We meet on the beach at the end of Calle Pelicanos. We have all of the bags and gloves so we just ask that people wear closed-toe shoes and show up with a good attitude. The clean-ups are an hour long and while people are doing the clean up we ask the volunteers to sort and separate the trash they collect as well.

Anything else you would like to add?
We have our next Earth Day (April 22nd) event coming up! It will mark a whole year of us cleaning up the beach, educating, and collaborating with the community. Do the math! If we collect a minimum of 100 kg a month, that's 1,200 kg of trash we picked up in a year, preventing it from going into the waterways. 

Finally, I would like to thank Azul Sayu, as their team does so much to enable us to do this beach clean-up every single month. These clean ups in Sayulita would not be possible without them!