Last week we introduced you to Donna Skinner of Gone Fishing Panama Resort, and her upcoming project, Orgullo en Boca Chica. With the Boca Chica elementary school flourishing, Donna has immediately set out to tackle another community issue – keeping Boca Chica beautiful. The dump in this small village no small problem, and there is desperate need for a recycling system. Donna first began teaching about recycling in English class, and tried to show the children, by example, what it means to take pride in where you live. Now these young ambassadors will be the heart of an ongoing initiative called Orgullo en Boca Chica (Boca Chica Pride).
Donna began talking to her friends and neighbors and contacting developers in the area. One of the people she reached out to was Benjamin Loomis, the President of Amble Resorts, who became one of the original supporters of the project. One of her friends donated a truck for the recycling effort, and encouraged by the support, local residents began to form clean up teams. Finally a date was set; on October 23, 2010 the Boca Chica community will gather together to clean up trash and litter on the town’s two roads, repaint houses, and properly dispose of the old boats that lie in people’s yards or on the beach.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth graders at Boca Chica’s school have a very special responsibility. The children will be painting and placing recycling bins around the town. They will be the ones that encourage their parents, siblings, friends and neighbors to recycle. Donna has taught them to say, “Hey, don’t throw that trash down on the ground, put it in the can!” The kids call themselves ambassadors of the “O.” The pride the children have in their home will have the greatest impact on the sustainability of Boca Chica.
The townspeople are excited to improve the appearance of their town before the upcoming holidays. Town leaders have been helpful in spreading the word. Donna has made it very clear in meetings that although this is a “gringo” funded project, it is a local effort. Donna believes that “it is imperative that this project feels like it is theirs, because long-term is up to the residents of Boca Chica, it is up to them to keep it going.” Donna encourages them to keep their orgullo/pride intact.
Help us support the Boca Chica community by posting positive words on our Facebook page or in blog comments. We will pass the encouragement along.