ARCAE will hold a series of environmental education workshop for elementary school children in various communities in Southern Costa Rica. The first of these was held on March 16, 2012 in Punta Banco. The event was originally designed to be a marine species workshop for the town’s 26 elementary school children. Plans changed, however, when ARCAE members asked Punta Banco community leaders what they thought the town’s children should be exposed to. As it turned out, parents and other school board members felt the event should focus on trash and the importance of proper garbage disposal.
Community members told ARCAE that a major town concern was all the trash left behind by tourists—mainly Costa Rican tourists who camp along the area’s beaches and leave them littered with garbage at the end of their vacations. Residents said the problem is so bad that local children actually follow this poor example and dispose of their own trash in the same way.
ARCAE learned that Punta Banco’s Development Association had purchased a number of large trash bins and would be placing them around the town at various camping areas. Community members also felt it would be a good idea for the children to make signs to be hung up around town saying how all trash should be put in the new trash cans.
And that’s how a marine fauna workshop evolved into a waste disposal workshop. Students listened to presentations and watched videos on the health risks associated with beach pollution, completed an activity booklet designed by ARCAE’s educational psychologist, Ingrid Rojas, participated in a beach cleanup, in addition to decorating signs with messages about how trash should be properly disposed of.
ARCAE members look forward to holding more of these events in other communities as the project grows. If you would like more information on the educational methodology used during the workshop, contact Ingrid Rojas at firstname.lastname@example.org.