Earth Days

Zuleika Lewis


February 24, 2010

With a strong sense of motivation to make change, the volunteers of  SolCom and I started a 3 day program at a community center in a small town called La Pista. The main focus of Earth Day is to educate kids about the importance of not throwing trash and how they can help. The first day we gave an interactive charla (presentation) that addressed trash as a problem along with a guitar and songs that our friend Ian presented. We were expecting about 20 kids to come but to our surprise 71 kids showed up.

That said, we were incredibly fortunate to have the support of the teachers from the community center. The second day we divided everyone in teams as we started the competition of who picks up more trash in the streets of the community. Ready with plastics bags and a lot of energy,  my team was named “The Little Rabbits” and we unfortunately lost the competition by only collecting 8 bags of trash against the winning team “The Cliffers,” who collected 14 bags of trash. Tired of picking up trash, we had a delicious lunch while answering the question of what is easiest? To not throw trash on the streets or to pick it up? Everyone said to not throw it on the streets.

Afterwards the comments of the day between the leaders were along the lines of “two girls in my team started to fight over who was going to pick up trash and who was going to hold the bag.” Surprisingly, the response of the kids to our activities were beyond of what we had expected in an awesome way. The third day we wrote our song in a big cloth and they painted it. We will put the cloth at the community center so they can look at it and remember what they did during “Earth Days.”

After we had a closing ceremony where each kid was given a certificate for their participation in “Earth Days.” Afterwards everyone pick 1 or 2 trash bags and waited for a trash truck that took the garbage to the landfill. Fortunately we counted with the support of the authorities of Nebaj that send the truck for the trash without any costs.  As the truck was leaving we would say wait, wait and people from the community would come and put bags of trash in the truck. It was such a wonderful moment to see since La Pista doesn’t have a trash system and people burn their trash. At the end we had 50 bags of trash in total ready to go.  This project is meant for the teachers at the community center to carry on.

Zuleika Lewis