Our One Earth, Our Only Chance

Photos from a community beach cleanup with the kids in El Cocal— a neighborhood located in Quepos, Costa Rica.

About the community:
After living in Cocal with the Mora-Vasquéz family for several months, I fell in love with the strong sense of community that the people seemed to share. Unfortunately, that warm sense of oneness did not extend to the Earth. Many homes in this area are located directly in front of the ocean, a vast majority of them past legal lines. This has proven especially harmful to the ocean as environmental education is not a top priority in this small under-the-radar community. In this neighborhood, there is no waste management system of any type. Due to government negligence of the area, the people of Cocal must walk all of their trash of the week down to a ferry, cross the ferry to Quepos, and drop it off on Monday mornings. As a result, the majority of the population results to littering.

About the event:
Kids of all ages from the community showed up on several Sunday afternoons to work together to clean up the beach that they call home. In exchange for their participation, a raffle was held to give each child a prize. Prizes included notebooks, pencils, and two grand-prize surf boards donated by locals in Quepos. There is still seemingly endless work to be done, but we hope to have planted a seed among the youth in these periodic clean-ups for the sake of the community and a cleaner marine environment.

Special thanks to:
Aspen Whistler, fellow organizer behind the event
Morgan Choquer and Gracie Castle, photographers

~Hannah Calloway
June 19, 2013

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