Exploring different media for waste management and recycling education
Guatemala — Uniterra
This is very possibly the last blog I will write in Guatemala. Yes, a year has passed, and I am going back in a few days! But I wish to keep being a part of the CECI family, so the blogs will continue.
It is with a mix of emotions that I finish my Guatemalan mandate. So happy from this experience and so sad to leave all the friends and colleagues that I have worked with this year. I feel like the song from the Portuguese singer Ana Moura: “Ai que tristeza, esta minha alegria. Ai que alegria, esta tão grande tristeza” which means: “so sad this happiness, so happy this big sadness“
I wanted to dedicate this blog to my experience of creating different media to transmit an environmental message.
First of all, myself with the collaboration of a very creative designer created a series of six short videos about waste management, recycling and Eco design. These videos are in Spanish, and we made copies in 100 DVD and we also publish them on YouTube. The idea is that a professor can give the workshop for their students, starting by explaining the generalities of waste management, continuing with ideas of objects they can make from recycled materials, and ending with tips of garbage reduction.
Because I worked many years as a guide in the Saint Michel Environmental Complex, in Montreal, I know the importance of visiting in person recycling plants and landfill sites. So, we also designed a guide intended for guides and teachers, complete with pre and post visit activities, the ideal way of treating the different types of garbage, and tips for managing the group in an efficient way.
These two materials are published on the Facebook page: Yo soy limpio Puro Utz, of the ProAtitlan campaign, all in Spanish.
I also participated in many TV and radio shows to talk about this problematic and to give tips to produce less garbage.
Finally, I wrote a Theatre piece for the environmental department of another group I worked with. We wanted an activity for the different town fairs around the Lake. Last year they presented mostly kiosks with games, so, this year we wanted something different. Talking with team members, we choose theatre, and the subject was to present a monster: Cyano-Titlân, a first symbiosis of living organisms (the cyanobacteria) and objects (mostly plastic bottles and bags). The story had to be simple, short and with few personages. So, there are only three: a journalist, a scientist and the monster. We presented it later for a school, and the children loved it, they screamed with the monster, the played along with the music and they even tried to get to the scene to be close to us!
The story is as follows: a scientist had to spend many days observing the surface of the water and listening to the sounds with an underwater microphone to discover the secret of this strange monster that was scaring the fishermen. After some days, she saw the shape of the monster, and with a special music, attracted him. Finally, she managed to catch him, take it to the surface and show it to the public. After explanations about cyanobacteria, the garbage problem and more, the public votes to see what can be Cyano-Titlân destiny: a zoo to be exposed or to be dismantled and the pieces go to recycling.
With my colleagues, we were thinking in continuing the series with the same two personages to talk about different problems of the lake: the volcanoes may decide to erupt as a force measure to protest against deforestation, or the Lake may decide to move to Siberia, because it feels threatened.
I suggested that they explore other ideas in the following year fairs such as music, sports events and more.
Ideas are always welcomed! The important thing is to keep being creative and to use all ways to transmit the message of caring for the environment.