Laguna de Apoyo is situated in a protected Nature Reserve, with an incredible diversity of flora and fauna. The forest and lake make the Laguna a favorite tourist destination for foreigners and locals alike who come to year-round and patronize the beaches, bars, restaurants, and hostels. The economy of the Laguna depends greatly on the preservation of the valuable natural resources, but community members and MARENA (Park Guards) are battling to conserve the environment against deforestation, hunting, and littering.
This year, Proyecto CocoMango worked together with the Catarina Mayor’s office and local business to organize the second annual Environmental Week in Laguna de Apoyo. The event, which took place from July 5th – 8th, kicked off with a parade starting at the top of the volcanic crater and ending at the banks of the Laguna, and also included the following activities: demonstrations of recycled earrings, recycled paper, and competitions to design a Laguna de Apoyo logo; clean-up of the local paths; an underwater and beach clean-up; and a fair in the center of Catarina where various environmental-related organizations presented their activities and led demonstrations.
Youth + Environment
Environmental consciousness and preservation is one of the key focuses of our after school youth enrichment program, Laguna Activa. Several key environmental activities that we carry out with the youth include:
As a group, we periodically clean up the garbage that is left on the Laguna’s public beaches and save materials that we can re-use – plastic bottles, bottle caps, glass, etc!
Using recyclable materials that we find during beach clean-ups, save from our own consumption, or ask nearby hostels to save for us, we work with the kids to create new, useful things! These include recycling bins made from recycled plastic bottles, wallets made from milk cartons, and earrings made from chip bags and plastic bottles!
After learning how to make new goods using recycled materials, our youth started leading workshops at primary and secondary schools, as well as demonstrating their techniques at environmental fairs! This year, our kids displayed their handmade recycling bins at a World Water Day celebration in Granada and showed visitors how to make various recycled products at the Environmental Week fair in Catarina.