We’ve been continuously wowed by the progress of ‘Deplastificate Todos Santos y Pescadero’ in Baja California Sur – and they’re making grand strides again!
While the name of this incredible grassroots campaign doesn’t hold the evocative feeling that makes you want to click through to read more, we can assure you…. there are so many reasons to do so! Powered by the incredibly hard-working volunteers, willing audience, and generous financial donors including the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (the ATCF awarded them $20,000 to further the educational components of this program) the movement, and the communities, have much to be proud of.
Desplastificate for Baja California Sur was founded by Mayra Gutierrez and our partners at Todos Santos Eco Adventures (TOSEA) are one of the founders and supporters of Desplastificate Toods Santos y Pescadero.
TOSEA were a major sponsor and fundraiser of a very special project in June of 2019. Desplastificate Todos Santos & Pescadero and Manos Magicas sponsored a project in which Manos Magicas, a cooperative of talented local women, made cloth shopping bags for the 1,200 elementary school children of Todos Santos and Pescadero. When the bags were delivered to local schools, the kids, many with their parents, decorated the bags for their families to use in place of single-use plastic bags – all the while learning about the importance of eliminating single-use plastics in their households and community. Further work continued within the schools including:
- Educational workshops about single-use plastics for 365 students in 7 schools
- Presented campaign and importance of reducing single-use plastics to 400 students during the annual Todos Santos Film Festival.
- Created teams of Desplastifícate ambassadors from a middle school and joint middle/high school in Todos Santos and a high school in Pescadero. These students will help facilitate educational programs in primary schools and kindergartens as well as participating in community awareness events.
- One of the first projects of the student ambassadors is to participate in implementing a survey which will help set baseline data on: how many plastics bags are currently being used per family, if community members are aware of the campaign and/or the environmental and health consequences of single-use plastics
- Facilitated “co-creation” workshops for three schools with principals, teachers and students to help provide the space and structure for them to design a plan of how to eliminate single-use plastics from their schools.
In July of 2019, a certification ceremony was held, and now over 100 businesses are participating in the program! The ceremony was complete with Todos Santos’ ‘delegado’ (the equivalent of the Mayor) outlining a vision for a zero waste Todos Santos! Barbara Manfrediz of Waterways Baja, offered to install a tap filtration system in any local restaurant or hotel that would like one in exchange for food, drinks, or services – this ensures high quality for customers with no plastic bottle waste! This offer has helped at least 20 businesses move from the rating of 2 turtles to 3 turtles!
And the incredible work continued….As of mid-August 2019, Desplastificate has had a major victory – styrofoam containers, plastic bags, and plastic straws are outlawed in the state of Baja California Sur. As Bryan Jauregui of Todos Santos Eco Adventures says, “…it’s a big deal to have our tiny Mexican state take such a leadership role!”