Beginning in September of 2013, the Institute for Social Assistance (IMAS –InstitutoMixto de Ayuda Social) was giving 1 million colones ($2,000) every month to the Recycling Center to provide a salary of 100,000 colones ($200) to all of its ten female employees. This subsidy was cut off completely in the month of December, and now the women are working without a salary until IMAS approves its budget once again.
Alvaro Camacho, administrator of the center, says that the group of women has taken ownership of the project and loves their work. In the last four months, they have worked to clean streets, beaches and rivers. They also give environmental education talks about waste separation, its benefits, and problems related to trash.
For the group of women, this problem is surprising and directly affects them, as they have bills to pay and families to feed. “For now we are without pay, but Don Alvaro is looking for sponsorship options as well as selling crafts. We try to go to fairs, and we set up stands at the supermarket to sell crafts to the community,” says Yolanda Lopez.
To compensate and motivate the workers, the Nosara Recycling Association will be giving them an intensive English course in the David Kitson Library. In addition, they’ll be given more workshops to continue making crafts from recycled waste.
In the meantime, the center still lacks water and electricity connections, due to legal processes. This represents another problem regarding income for the project, as they haven’t been able to sell the recycled material and it is being stored in the work space. For security, it’s necessary to use special machines to compact and crush the material.
“Without support from IMAS, we have to find a way to raise funds, such as crafts or donations from the community to hire women with a reasonable salary,” explained Camacho.
If you want to make a donation or buy one of the crafts write to [email protected] or visit the collection center directly.