Sunday, October 2, 2011

Poco Floro, Mas Accion! (Trash Pick-up) ...

So with my limited Spanish skills, I’ve got my health promoters to buy into the dicho (saying) “poco floro, mas accion” ("less talk, more action”). To show that we’re more than just a bunch of charla giving goofs (floro), we set out to collect recyclables to sell (accion).
The plan was simple: 1) start a competition in the school to see which class can bring in more recyclables; 2), Weigh and record each class’ trash; 3) give the winning class a soccer ball as the prize. To aid us, the school staff was great. The teachers allowed the kids to store the trash in the back of each classroom until the weigh-in day, and the director allowed us to use a vacant room at the school to store any trash the health promoters picked up. Furthermore, when the teachers found out that I was planning to sell the goods for a less than premium price to a guy 2 towns away, they went out and found a man in Caraz that paid 20% more.
I’d also like to give props to Alicia (our president), who was in charge of dealing with the competitive kids while having to weigh their trash (she often found a few rocks and full water bottles mixed in the bags of trash), and also showed up on Saturday at 8:00am to help me sell the goods. She’s a super star in my book, and is a great example why I enjoy my job here in the Peace Corps.
Now I’d like to say that we made so much money that I can end poverty in Ancash, but what we did make was pretty impressive for the short 2 weeks we put into it: S/. 140. This will be plenty enough of us to start doing other projects, and focus more on our “health” roots of safe sex, hand washing, and avoiding drugs and alcohol. The kids have already decided to use the money to paint murals around the school addressing these certain topics. 
As a side note, the soccer ball the winning class won, popped the next day. I guess that's what S/. 14 gets you.

Here’s a quick video to show the room the school let me use to store the trash before it was sold:

Yurocoto Recycling Room Video 

The health promoters and I with our recyclables.

Here is me with a group of girls in their classroom with trash.

This is our trash the day we (Alicia and I) brought it out to be sold.

Alicia and I acting like “ballers” with the 140 soles the group earned.