Here’s how it works…
Shala Ananda yoga in conjunction with Amigos meet the second Saturday of every month at 9 a.m. on the beach by the El Buzo sculpture at the downtown central plaza. Notifications are sent out in advance by email/facebook/yahoo bucerias group. Volunters meet up armed with: a couple of plastic grocery store bags; maybe a pair of BBQ style tongs from the 25 pesos store, or gloves; hat and water – and pick up as they stroll along chatting with the others, maybe making new friends. It’s not hard work – and what a beautiful way to start the day! Wherever we are at 10 a.m. we look around and call it a day shortly afterwards. So an hour a month is not a lot of time and effort – but it does make a lot of difference.
We don’t just do beach clean up – we have cleaned the dirt and dust off Rio Colorado (road opposite Marilyn Monroe effigy that leads to the special needs school) and we will be cleaning up the arroyo (river) from the beach working our way inland a few times throughout the year – and especially before the summer rains start, washing all the trash out into the ocean! And after each major downpour! There is also trash in the canal that runs a few blocks inland of the highway that needs clearing out.
Apart from our scheduled efforts, we do encourage everyone of all nationalities to pick up trash wherever they see it. Aim for 6 pieces per person a day! Going for a walk or walking the dog? Take a small bag with you! Yes, we know it is most likely not your trash! Yes, we know this is an uphill battle! And yes, we are hopeful of encouraging the schools to improve their awareness education to the kids of all ages, so that a new generation will be more respectful of the environment. This is a long term process. Generally people keep their frontages litter free – but when it comes to the empty lots that’s a different story. You might recall when you were a kid of Government sponsored nationwide programmes trying to impress upon you the need to “Keep it clean” / “Take your litter home with you” / “Your beach – your trash”.
Well they do promote that on the radio, tv, and in the papers to a certain extent. But a big problem here is that most of the Nationals throwing the litter out of the car window, discarding the take out food containers once they’ve eaten – do not actually live here. They have come to work in the tourism industry. So they don’t have the sense of pride of Bucerias being their own “back yard” – and they don’t have their Mother right by them wagging her finger!
The other problem of course is this is still a rural community with different problems to big cities, and the piles of trash awaiting collection on street corners are subject to being opened and distributed down the road by: rats; birds; cats; dogs; goats; mules; horses – and last but not least: “the pickers” – locals searching for whatever discarded junk might prove of value – ie aluminium cans.
You can join us in complaining – but please also join us in clearing up ! “Every litle helps” ! Thank you !