Registered: December 2010
City/Town/Province: North Hollywood
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“I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.”- Kurt Vonnegul Jr.
“What is the use of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?”- Henry David Thoreau.
Kurt Vonnegul Jr. and David Henry Thoreau both realized how important is our planet, because that is everything we have, we have not a planet B and if it there exists one it would not be like earth, indeed there is no place like home. I am sure that all of us would do anything to save our beloved planet, but, sadly reality is another. There are actually many people that don’t help it to survive and they are only damaging and rotting even more our planet. But there are some exceptions, like Nicodemus who are committed to help the planet survive. Knowledgeable of their efforts, we decided to contribute to the planet and create a greener earth.
My friend Catherine and I were always committed to help the planet, and we are deeply concern about its survival. Although we are miles apart, the distance couldn’t stop us from contributing. The program we decided to do can be divided into three different projects, and even though we are in different countries we are not only making the difference in only one specific place, but in two damaged environments at the same time. Our program benefits our own communities and those nearby. The program consists of a recycling center and a garbage removal service, a “tree care” project, plus a river relief project in which we clean and maintain damaged rivers.
Both of us are from San Salvador, El Salvador a very highly polluted city. Around the streets you can find garbage almost anywhere and the entire surrounding environment is highly affected by this. We have been friends for almost a lifetime, and we have been always concerned about the pollution of our city and how this affects our community as well. We started to do little changes with our friends and families by convincing them not to throw trash on the streets. It is really amazing how almost all of El Salvador’s population throws trash anywhere they please, without realizing how damaging this is. So, in 2006 we decided to do a garbage removal project, but unfortunately, I had to move to Los Angeles the following year and we never had opportunity to start. Some few years after I had left; 4 years after to be exact, be decided to finally start the project and run it in both places, because Los Angeles also suffers from littering in the streets. With some money we had both saved we could buy all of the materials, and as the word spread in the neighborhoods and our own schools, we could expand it to the “Tree Care” and the river relief, but only in San Salvador.
The recycling center and the garbage removal is a service we give to our communities daily or at least twice a week. This was the basic idea for the later projects, and it consists of 1 recycling center in both of our communities in which we have 4 large bins: one for plastics, another for paper, another for cans and one for glass. The tree care project is a system in which we irrigate the plants of the community and maintain the gardens of the community by plating new seeds and giving them what they need. We try to do this at least once a week but the volunteers from the neighborhood take care of the plants daily. The river relief project, which we did only once partnering with the one of our schools, is a little more complex, because it requires of lots of garbage bags, and nets to clean the river. To do this we have to clean not only the river, (Acelhuate in San Salvador) but the shore and places nearby, because the people that live next to river (or above, in some cases), are not committed to its cleaning. We also had to ask permission to the municipality to let us clean the river and thanks for their approval we now clean and maintain the rivers that are damaged in one of the two countries we benefit. By doing all of this we have cleaner and healthier communities, which was our goal, and also by the river relief project we have gone above and beyond by cleaning the rivers from other communities that before were major sources of contamination. Above all we have improved the lives of the people that live in the communities by providing them with a clean environment.
My friend and I designed the program and recruited our volunteers which for the most part are neighbors and friends from our schools. We also have had another people that help us, and if it weren’t for our wonderful staff of earth warriors this projects wouldn’t have been possible. As you can see in the picture, we didn’t only put our brains and sweat in it, but also our love and desire to help the planet recover its green color. The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative has not only helped us to enrich as humans but also as “earth warriors” helping to heal our planet.
We are committed to continue with this project as long as time and life permit us. Our mission is to make our communities a better place to live, and subsequently improving the countries we live in. As the quote by Darrly Cherney says, “I’m not an environmentalist, I’m an earth warrior” we are earth warriors “sowing the seeds of love” for our planet today.