Rain-storm filled clouds didn’t stop Bodhi Surf School or Grupo SURF from marching out for the Uvita beach clean up! Leading 8 volunteers from Grupo SURF, Bodhi Surf School owner Travis Bays, and Bodhi Surf yoga instructor Pilar Salazar, met the stormy day with the motto, “our community, our responsibility” and proudly took to the coastlines of the Marino Ballena National Park in an effort to clean up the beaches. The event in Bahia Ballena-Uvita, Osa was part of a larger international event called Coastal Cleanup Day (CCD) that began in 1985 and has grown over the years to include 108 countries making it one of the worlds largest volunteer efforts on behalf of ocean health.
About the Event in Bahia Ballena-Uvita
The event was made possible thanks to organization efforts from the Terra Nostra Costa Rica non-profit organization, the Municipality of Osa, National University of Costa Rica, and community leaders. After meetings and planning strategies at the municipality, team members from Terra Nostra came to the Bahia Ballena-Uvita community center to provide community leaders with a quick training session on recycling and coastal cleanups. Afterwards, local community leaders came together to strategize for the cleanup of their respective coastline. Bodhi Surf School was given the responsibility of cleaning a sector of Playa Uvita that stretches from the Marino Ballena park entrance to Playa Colonia (Playa Chaman).
The morning of the event was greeted with gray cloudy skies and light showers but that didn’t stop Grupo SURF from meeting at Bahia Aventuras & Bodhi Surf School offices at 8AM sharp. With help from Walter Brenes, owner-operator of Bahia Aventuras, the team drove to their coastal cleanup sector to meet with other volunteers. Fifteen minutes later Grupo SURF and Bodhi Surf School team members were cleaning up their coastlines with plastic bags, sacks, and gloves; plus rain and wind that had some of them shivering. During the cleanup the group collected plastic, aluminium, glass, paper, and trash. Many of the youth participants were sprinting along the Uvita beach with a semi-competitive attitude of “who can collect the most”. After two hours under the rain the group finally walked back to the offices of Bahia Aventuras & Bodhi Surf School to reflect upon the experience.
To continue the important mission of cleaning up their coasts, Bodhi Surf School and Grupo SURF, will be organizing beach cleanups every other month starting NOW. They will seek out responsible community businesses and organizations such as La Cusinga Eco Lodge, Bahia Aventuras and the KETO Foundation to help organize and execute the beach cleanups. Knowing well that the solution to coastal pollution is not simply cleaning up the coastlines, Bodhi Surf will continue spearheading the efforts of the Grupo SURF program to empower youth as integral agents of change in the sustainable development of their community.