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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Miraflores, Lima, Peru

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Miraflores, Lima, Peru

alana27



Registered: July 2011
City/Town/Province: Tucson
Posts: 1
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For the first time in my life I moved. Not to another state in comfortable Northern America, but to the developing country of Peru. When I first found out about the move, I was terrified, but I knew I wanted to somehow make a difference in my new environment.
There are parts of Lima, Peru that are very beautiful and well kept. However there are more places than not that are trashed, filled with impoverished, uneducated people. It is very important to take care of these poor areas, because people are getting sick from the pollution and these people have no way of dealing with it. I knew I wanted to make a difference for these poor Peruvians, but there was a problem: I could barely speak, let alone understand their turbo speed Spanish. So I decided to start with my school.
My school was an international kindergarten through 12th grade school in which I have met kids from all over the world! As exciting as this school might sound, I noticed something terribly upsetting, at least to me it was: there was no recycling program. My fellow international classmates would pile loads of paper, soda bottles, water bottles, and cardboard into the trash cans! For me it was heartbreaking to watch, however no one else seemed to care. It was time to make a change.
With the help of a couple of teachers (who could speak Spanish) we created an environmental club. We called a small, but growing recycling company who would take our recycled items, and in return give money to a local boys orphanage. I gathered my friends to help paint recycling symbols on old cardboard boxes. I made giant posters of what people can and cannot recycle. I gave announcements to each class about recycling. I helped my school realize the importance of recycling; which is to not create more pollution and trash, but to reuse our items so that our environment can stay clean. We made the project fun by setting up a competition between the students and the staff for which group could recycle the most. The kids got very excited and even began bringing in recyclable items from home. Little by little paper, plastic water bottles and soda cans began to fill the recycling boxes. I was very pleased with the success of the program.
Still full of excitement from my previous success, I decided to create a beach clean-up. This is because many beaches in Lima, Peru are filthy. They are lined with trash, and dead animals such as fish and chickens. It truly is a horrifying sight to see. I felt that it was very important to clean the beach, for our oceans are being polluted by our trash, which hurt the organisms living in the water. I posted signs about the beach clean-up around my school, and told all of my friends. The day arrived. It was a cold foggy day, much like any other day in Lima. The two teachers who had helped me with the environmental club came, as well as four of my friends and my mom. We went down to the beach and started cleaning. I figured out that we could keep reusing our garbage bags by only dumping out our trash into the trash cans and keeping the bags. We picked up loads of trash, such as cans, shampoo packets (from surfers), and many plastic artifacts. Something I noticed while cleaning was that people were watching. I felt that by cleaning the beach these people might fallow after us.
After a few hours we had successfully unsullied a small portion of a Peruvian beach. Part of me felt satisfied about what we had accomplished, however the other half wanted to do more. I had my doubts of where the trash we had only moments ago disposed would end up. Would it just as easily go back into the ocean? Even though I was unsure, I realized that this was only the beginning. This was just the first small step I had to make in creating a cleaner world, and slowly but surely I will make an impact.
Before I could do much more my family and I had to move back to the United States. However, no matter where I go I want to continue being environmentally conscious, and figure out how I can help better our world, and the community around me. I know that one day soon I want to return to Peru, so that I can help increase local awareness to the people about keeping their country beautiful and clean. By doing my small part, I have realized that my dream is to be able to help developing and third world countries grow through using sustainable resources.
Date: July 29, 2011 Views: 2250 File size: 7.7kb : 221 x 166
Hours Volunteered: 118
Volunteers: 8
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 17 & 13 to 50
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