The March Projects
Guatemala — Uniterra
At the beginning of March something very interesting happened. I was asked by the coordinators of CECI Guatemala to realize projects of communication in the subjects of recycling and waste management.
I started by asking my coworkers of AMSCLAE and ProAtitlán, if they had any projects that needed some help in being completed. I also review all my notes of ideas and I ended identifying five projects that fulfilled all the requirements.
It was a busy time, trying to complete all the planning in less than four weeks! It was also a great experience for me and I felt very lucky to have this freedom to plan and create activities. When the deadline arrived for the presentation of the documents, I had them all! Everything was under control, and I felt a great relief for completing them. I could go on my one month holidays in April in peace!
The first project was to assure the continuity of my Eco design and recycling workshops. I show the educators of other groups all the details of how to teach them, I gave them the presentations and all the base materials and tools needed. Now, my coworkers of ProAtitlán, AMSCLAE, AMSA and Red Musovi can give the information to schools and women’s cooperatives.
The second and third are very related. I developed with the help of a professional designer a guide to visit recycling and waste plants. This guide can be useful to teachers, plant workers, and educators in general. It shows what to observe in the plants, it gives pre and post visit activities and it explains basic concepts such as recycling, reuse, reduce, biogas, leachates, compost and more. The other material is a DVD about Eco Design, also for people wanting to teach it and have some more ideas. Some parts will be transmitted in the local TV shows. We even filmed the workshops to have real examples and different techniques.
The fourth activity was made in collaboration with AMSCLAE. The coordinator of the Education department wanted to do a Forum for women in San Pedro la Laguna. World Water Day (March 22) was approaching and the Mayan women in this town have a tradition of washing their clothes in the Lake of Atitlan. So, we wanted to give alternatives to traditional soaps full of phosphates and chemicals. We invited 100 women for the different cooperatives and groups, trough the Women’s office of the Municipality. Invited experts and myself talked about the importance of water in human life, water cycles, contamination problems, and most important of all, what can be better alternatives to commercial soaps. A biologist showed us plants that are found in the area, and that can be used as soap. We also researched the brands that were phosphates free, and gave samples and prices at the end of the forum. The solution in not straight forward, but we tried to give alternatives and ideas to reduce the impact of human activities in the Lake.
Last, but not least, with colleagues of ProAtitlán and the help of designers, we are printing stickers, banners and posters about waste classification, cleanliness, and reduction of one-use plastics to install in the different markets of the Sololá Department.
Everything was planned in March, but I still have the printings and presentations to do. The work is not yet finished, but it is well under way. I loved the opportunity of being creative and most of all, of working in collaboration with so many talented people!