The people of our town take pride in their local stream. Everyone knows it by the name "Ka'i Puente" which means "monkey bridge". Originally, monkeys were commonly found here, but because of deforestation, they have now lost their habitat. The stream has been suffering as well. Everyday people walk along the stream eating candy, drinking a soda, or snacking on chips. Sadly, when they finish their treat, they drop their trash on the ground, or in some cases throw it directly into the stream! The trash-free ideals that we hold in the U.S. simply haven't made it into the mainstream down here. People just don't realize the negative environmental impacts of littering.
Because of this problem, we decided to raise awareness by participating in an international coastal clean-up event. Every year, Ocean Conservancy challenges the people of the world to come together and clean-up our coastlines. This year, Peace Corps volunteers decided to extend this challenge to Paraguay. Although Paraguay is landlocked, we strive to teach the people that even the smallest streams lead to the ocean! No matter where you live, you can make a difference by picking up trash from your local waterways (be it a beach, river, or stream!).
So we made the announcement to our community. We invited members of the city hall, environmental groups, the scouts, and high school students to join together to clean up Ka'i Puente. We set up a sign in table, where volunteers could learn how to fill out the trash collection form and register for their certificates. The volunteers formed groups and spread out to different areas of the stream. One member of each group was in charge of recording each piece of trash that was collected. In just under 2 hours 23 volunteers from our community collected over 200 kilos of trash! The stream was transformed! People from all over the community noticed the difference we had made. It was definitely a day to be proud of!
The Top 5 Offenders
Plastic grocery bags (395)
Food wrappers (324)
Plastic bottles (118)
Cigarette butts (97)
Glass bottles (94)