Beautifying San Pedro!

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 50            December 22, 2005

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At 7 a.m., children and volunteers were called to order. After being separated into teams depending on age, the contest began.

At the end of the day, the true winner was “La Isla Bonita”. Because of this group’s hard work, Ambergris Caye’s north side was clean, with much of the litter having been bagged as Harriette Fisher shows above.

SPTC spearheads clean-up campaign

Press Release – San Pedro Town Council – December 13th, 2005 – Bright and early on Saturday, December 10th, members of the San Pedro Police Youth Cadets and the Guardians of the Reef, along with Councilor Nano Guerrero were busy cleaning debris from an area of our island. This is one of many projects that the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) has embarked on to encourage the general population to “Keep San Pedro Clean.” This particular campaign is being spearheaded by Town Councilor Justinano “Nano” Guerrero and will be promoted under the spanglish theme “La Isla Bonita es mi casa; and I like mi casa clean. Stop Littering!”

   Councilor Guerrero opted to use these two groups of young people, as they are both groups that are working for a better community, the same as the SPTC. Both the cadets and the Guardians of the Reef picked up garbage on the street side south of WASA up to where Varela’s Warehouse once stood. Following many hours of work the group had picked up two and a half (2 ½) truckloads of debris that had been discarded on the street. In return for their great enthusiasm and willingness to “Keep San Pedro Clean” both groups received a cash donation from the Council.

   The Council has also received the support from some residents of South Ambergris Caye who will join this campaign by contributing signs to be posted along the south road. Councilor Nano will also be placing more garbage bins around town and other areas of the island. All residents of Ambergris Caye are urged to dispose of their garbage properly and help with this campaign. The general public is also asked to report to the San Pedro Town Council (226-2198/2788) when garbage is being dumped on the roadside.

NACNW clean-up contest!

Councillor Justiniano assists the children in the clean-up effort.

Press Release – December 19th, 2005 – North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch (NACNW) – They started showing up at 8:00 AM to sign up for the possibility of winning cash prizes. By 9:00 a.m. there were 40 children, mostly from the San Mateo Sub Division, ready to start collecting trash on the north end of the island. The staging area was next to Coco Locos Bar and the plan was to work from the pull ferry to the Palapa bar. However, no one made it past The Cloisters.

   Pat Stiley, Vice President of the North Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch (NACNW) selected five of the oldest ones to be team leaders; then the leaders took turns selecting the others as members of their team. Once selections were finished they were given a few minutes to come up with names; and this they did with great enthusiasm.

    NACNW President Nurse Natalie Palen had provided latex gloves and since there were so many little hands Judie Fisher, the Peace Corps volunteers Stacey and Brian Lang and event coordinator Harriette Fisher secured them with plastic or duct tape. Instructions were given and trash bags handed out.

   There was a large jug of ice cold tropical drink and each child’s name was written on their plastic glass and kept at the table. They could come back as many times as needed to be refreshed. When all of the bags had been brought to the staging area the ice cream man magically appeared (compliments of Mr. Stiley) and everyone took a cooling break. Thanks to Coco Locos there was a place for them to wash up before eating.

   The competition was fierce and no one anticipated the amount of trash that would be collected. Before the judging was done everyone was treated to hot dogs that were provided and prepared by Dave Hauptli. He and Alexandria Nicholson provided the charcoal and handed out candy canes. Andre Perez of Pan Dulce Bakery provided the buns and the Blue Water Grill loaned NACNW the squeeze bottles of ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard – all full.

   Thanks to the generous contributions from Cori and Mark Doctor, Pat Stiley, Natalie Palen, Mary Hawthorn, Harriette Fisher and her daughter of Taylor LeClaire Designs, there were lots of cash awards.

   The team with the most bags was the Hell Boys lead by Henry with team mates Lionel, Darcy, Deedan and Samantha. Tiburones (Sharks) lead by Josue took 2nd place with the help of Chanze, Alvin, Angale, Frances, Alecia, Renna and Gariza. Individual winners for the most bags or the heaviest bags were divided by age group; under 8-years-old (Hoyla and Luce), 8 to 12 (Beatriz) and over 12 (Esther, Yariatza and Charlotte). Altogether almost BZ $200 was given out to the children.

   So many bags were filled that it would have taken many many trips across the pull ferry. Instead Just Dave paid MASH, who had a dump truck on the barge nearby to come over to haul it away. As Harriette points out in the picture on page 8, there was not room for any more bags on the overloaded truck.

   Those who won $5.00 or $10.00 Belize were thrilled. Those who did not win one of the competition prizes all got a bag of loose change. When asked if they would like to do it again one of the boys said, Tomorrow?” Because of the generosity of those who donated there is enough seed money to get the next one organized. NACNW is planning one for the weekend preceding the sky divers coming in February.

   Harriette reported, “Next time we will be more organized and hopefully will have more help from adults.
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