Youth in Art and Action, Caring for Our Environment!
Rió Abajo is a small community in the north of El Salvador. The community has a great deal of natural beauty, being situated at 10,000 feet above sea level; however, its natural beauty is easily obscured by the area's poor trash management. Currently most of the trash in Rió Abajo is either buried or burned. This project aims to emphasize the importance of caring for the environment at a primary school in the village of Rió Abajo. The idea is that by starting with the community's youngest residents, the impact of the project can be felt for generations to come. Practically, the school will be implementing environmental education project, painting environmental murals at the school, and launching the community's first recycling center. The school will be promoting recycling amongst its students and encouraging students to promote recycling amongst their families. The collected recyclables will be sold in bulk to a nearby plant to generate income for the school, so that it may improve facilities and educational opportunity for young people.
The recycling shed and three murals at the school have been completed. People in the community have started dividing up recyclables by type and sending them to the school to be stored in the recycling shed. There have been two successful community meetings with parents of schoolchildren and other community members. Meetings, activities and presentations about caring for the environment are in progress with children at the school and will continue for the foreseeable future. A couple community cleanups have been led by teachers at the schools and will also continue.
"It has been great to see the kids at the school and community members start to think differently about trash and also to change their habits." – Sara, Peace Corps Volunteer