Local Beach Clean

The Early Days

Former Director Julia Harriman relates her first experiences in El Paredón before the formation of La Choza Chula

Today, Carla and I got up at 5am and made the spooky 40 minute walk along the beach to help the school with the annual beach cleanup. In our bleary eyed state, we forgot all-important water and food supplies. Just as well it was the first cool day of the month and that families shared their mangoes with us.

When we arrived, half the school was already there. Teams were given bags to collect glass, plastic or bottle tops. These would be sold for recycling. The remaining wood and rubbish were scraped into big piles and burnt. Carla and I were on plastic watch and we gathered together colourful scraps, combs, toys and drift wood we can use in the recycled art projects we want to initiate here. Lots of the kids showed an interest in getting involved in our projects and we met 2 great women who are dead keen, who have made things in the past but lost impetus. We’re going to have our first meeting on Friday with them to see what they have already made form coconuts and shells and what materials and equipment the mayor’s sister has already.

What a happy day. So brilliant getting to know the local kids, a lot of whom we are also teaching English. They are funny, smart, silly, shy, wise, able to laugh at themselves and hard working.

We have just found out that tomorrow there is a big party for everyone who was involved, starting at 9am! I will be able to squeeze in surfing before that if the waves are small enough….