Sunday, December 6, 2009


Saturday was a minga limpieza (community clean up day). Two of the students are volunteering at the recycling center for their service work, and they organized the whole event with the municipio. We all recruited our families and met at the city building at eight in the morning. We waited for about half an hour (in true island-time fashion) for the people from the municipio to show up and unlock the door. Once they did, they gave us all t-shirts and gloves and giant trash bags. Then we were delivered by pick-up taxi to different areas around town to pick up litter. There are many open lots around the schools and between neighborhoods, so lots of trash blows into the plants and trees there and gets stuck. Along the streets there are lots of little bits of trash, and in small ditches lots of people just chuck their finished bottle, bag, or can. After about three hours of hard work, we all were amazed at how good it looked. My brother told me that not many local people like to participate in mingas anymore, they are becoming less connected to the idea of community as a family. It was great to see so many young locals, however, helping out. Maybe it will ignite a passion in the next generation, like my own.