Recycling Project Centro Escolar Canton de Centro
The community of El Centro is located near the highest point of El Salvador and is thus very isolated. Due to such high altitudes ('Zona Alta'), the municipal government is not currently able to provide regular trash pick-up. As a result, community members are still throwing their trash on the ground only to be cleaned up later at designated cleanup times. This project will serve as the next-step for El Centro.
This project will result in competition days at the local school where students will clean up and properly dispose of trash in marked bins. There will also be hands-on learning taught in the school, mandating that all 9th grade students must complete a minimum of 300 hours of community service work, dedicated to making El Centro a healthier and cleaner community. After a few months of success at the school, the project will be replicated at another school nearby.
Due to increased interest, the project was expanded to include the whole school. Trash cans were personally designed by the students and placed along the main road, outside local stores, and around the school, with students in charge of maintaing them. The amount of trash in the street at any given time is significantly less than before, and there is now municipal trash pick up once every two weeks, thanks to efforts by the Project Leader. Through educational talks and meetings, the community now has a better understanding of trash management and recycling practices.
The students participated in several recycled art activities, such as making flowerpots out of bottles, Mother’s Day cards out of recycled newspaper, and flowers out of plastic bottles. The students in the Environmental Club and the 9th grade class performed a play for Earth Day and presented their recycled art. The 4th-9th graders also participated in an environmental-themed drawing/painting competition to place art around the community. All the grades participated in a recycling competition, and the three grades that collected the most recycling were rewarded with sports equipment for their class.
“I think that the recycling project has benefited the health of the community and has improved the quality of the environment. We have gone on field trips and hikes to collect bottles and trash, we have collected bottles for art projects with Mrs. Estela and we have classified recycling so not everything has to be thrown away.” – Mary, 15, Project Participant
"This project has literally transformed the community. Community members are healthier, there are far less flies, and the community looks gorgeous. The kids involved in the project were able to learn new skills improving their self-esteem, and had after-school activities to look forward to. It was so much fun to see how excited and proud of their art projects they were." - Lindsay, Peace Corps Volunteer
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