Yeilin, Maritza, Evelyn, María Estebana, Flory, Andreina, Geilyng, Wendy, Ana Maria y Yolanda. These 10 hardworking and enterprising women, who only a few months ago didn’t have jobs or know what recycling was about, are the essence of the Nosara Recycling and Education Center which opened its doors this past September
Workshops, videos and fieldtrips have been tools to train and empower them in a wide range of themes that include topics such as the creation of organic composting to the impact of trash on our aquifers. They are also learning the value of working as a team. These essential women are now transmitting the message to the community in several ways: leading “coffee chats” related to recycling in our barrios, distributing flyers and information on how to recycle to homes and businesses in Nosara, separating recyclable material at the center, conducting clean ups, and selling their recycled art creations.
“Our parents taught us not to litter, but it was simply to keep things clean, they never taught us the consequences that we have learned through this initiative or its impact on the soil, air, water and animals” explained Geilyng Azofeifa and Maritza Juarez, who are now teaching their children and neighbors. On the other hand, Yolanda Lopez comments that “what I have liked most about this is the consciousness that has been awakened in me and relating these values to my home and family… before I saw a bottle and I saw trash. Now with a plastic bottle I have created earrings, flowers and planters”.
The Center has also given them the opportunity to become actors, a field in which the majority had never participated. They practiced and presented the play “The Transformation of the LitterBug” during the Ecological Festival celebrated in Nosara this past November 30th with an audience of more than 80 people.
With their hearts in their throats, butterflies in their stomachs, cold sweat and trembling, the desire to perform for the first time overcame and conquered their nervousness. “Never before did I have the opportunity to act. I was chosen for the main role and I did my best so that I could pass along our message. I want other people, like me, to learn to change their habits” comments Wendy Salazar. There was great satisfaction and joy in achieving one more accomplishment. They are proud to explain that all their costumes and the stage decorations were created from materials received at the Recycling Center. This play, originated by Del Mar Academy, will be performed again in all the schools in our area.
The creation of art from recycled material is another of their ventures. Maria Estebana Hernández told us “this past month I didn´t have enough money to buy food, but with what I have learned in the creation of recycled art, I made some Christmas decorations, a trashcan made out of old magazines and a turtle made of newspaper. Selling these allowed me to feed my 8 year old daughter and myself and buy gas for my motorcycle”
These 10 remarkable women will be presenting their creations in the Art Fair, to be held at the Guilded Iguana on Saturday, December 14th. A percentage of the sales will help support them and their families and the other portion will help the Nosara Recycling and Education Center. The transformation of this group of women, their aspirations to expand our message and encourage participation in recycling to all the community will help Nosara become a national model in the management of its waste.
**These 10 women are subsidized by a government grant, “Manos a la Obra” financed by the Mixed Institute of Social Aid (IMAS). They have communicated that the months of January and February 2014 they will no longer have budget financing. If you are interested in helping, please contact [email protected]