Beautification of a Rustic Recycling Center and Organic Garden

Year: 2017
Country: Costa Rica
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Environment
Project Investment: $3,476.19

Project Launch: 12-14-17

In this proposed project, the indigenous Bribri women of Salitre will promote environmental protection through the creation of a botanical garden surrounding the recycling center. They will showcase to community members that learning about the environment, through their lens on the world as Bribris, can be both fun and beneficial to their community and the planet. The garden will include medicinal plants that are significant to the Bribri, traditional herbs, and fruits and vegetables that will be used to teach youth about indigenous culture. The garden will also be a destination for a tour marketed to visitors to generate income to sustain the project.

The recycling center will be revamped to make it more suitable for visiting tourists. Its renovation will include fortifying the structure with more wood, the installation of sinks, a toilet, a wood-burning stove, the renovation of its entryways, and the installation of a covered area so tours can be led even during the rainy season. The area will be cleared of weeds and small hiking paths will be made leading to the creek behind the center. The locale will be decorated with recyclable crafts to promote re-utilization and to eventually sell recyclable crafts to visitors touring the premises.

Project Update: 3-12-18

The Labour Ministry has recently done interviews of the potential workers and it appears the renovation of the center will be approved to begin in April. Coordination of the garden began in January, with the women creating walking paths throughout the locale with volunteers and preparing the areas where they will be planting. The subcommittees have begun working; two women have been bookkeeping for the group’s internal finances, two women have been leading the development of the tour and its cultural component, and two women have been leading the work on the garden. A 2 day workshop was held in March with a town elder regarding the culture as well as information on medicinal plants. Since January, 3 members of the women’s group have been attending weekly trainings in painting to assist in the crafts-making component of the project. A 3-day workshop was hosted in Salitre on recycled crafts-making and was attended by six of the seven women in the women’s group. Since the workshop, the women have been working on creating crafts of their own to decorate the recycling center and to sell to visitors.

Final Report: 6-7-18

The renovation of the recycling center, while delayed by several months, was a success The women's group managed the renovation of the locale and the creation of the Botanical Garden very well despite the delays. It has nearly completed all of the construction - the fencing, the renovation of the center's entryways, the creation of walking paths throughout the wooded area behind the locale for the tour, the installation of water, bathroom, sink, the renovation of the actual recycling center itself and the main gate.

The women's group now has participated in two government-funded projects, shoring up their facility in guiding and coordinating projects. The group is taking the initiative more often and making more decisions on their own behalf instead of waiting to consult others, particularly men.

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