Limpias tus Playas – Keep your Beaches Clean

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100 volunteers gather to send a message through a mural


Espíritu Santo es parte de ti is a local, grassroots campaign that aims to inspire the La Paz community to cherish and take pride in the outstanding marine environment that lies at our doorstep and to assist in the much needed recovery of the depleted reefs and reef fish populations in Espíritu Santo National Park. To achieve this recovery, the campaign’s other strategies are to raise money to help fund vigilance against illegal fishing at Espíritu Santo, and to advocate responsible fish consumption and try to persuade restaurants, markets and supermarkets to not sell parrotfish – a fish that is critical to the health of reefs and whose numbers have been hugely depleted through illegal fishing methods.

As part of our strategy of generating community pride in our natural resources, we sometimes organize related events to engage public interest and participation. The most recent of these   activities was the painting of a 115 meter long mural with the message “Limpias tus playas”, that can be translated as both “clean your beaches” and “your beaches are clean”, on the snake-shaped wall on the hill overlooking Eréndira Beach, in La Paz.

More than 100 volunteers gathered on Saturday, March 24th and part of the next day, to take part in the mural painting. They also joined in with the collection of garbage in the mangroves nearby, organized by community action group, Mar Libre.

Lucía Corral, Director of the ‘Espíritu Santo es parte de ti’ campaign and organizer of this great event, says that the idea of this mural is to send a double message to all citizens and visitors heading for La Paz’s finest beaches: The first is that, when leaving the beach, people should collect the garbage they generate during their stay, and the second is that the beaches of La Paz and Baja California Sur are clean and beautiful – and should stay that way.

“We chose to paint this mural on the strange, snake-shaped wall that we have all seen at some point, and have asked ourselves, what is that? There are so many different stories circulating about this mysterious wall, and you see it there, abandoned and apparently useless. We decided to time this event to coincide with the start of the Holy Week vacation, when all of Mexico heads for the beach and the impact would be the greatest. We teamed up with several organizations and companies, and with our guest artist, Uli Martínez, to design the mural and to guide the volunteers, in a huge joint effort to put our message out there in glorious colour”, says Lucía.

The work started at 9:00 am. The volunteers first sealed and painted the wall white, in preparation for the colour. At the same time, Mar Libre was co-ordinating the cleaning of the mangrove area, where volunteers managed to collect a mountain of garbage – mainly tires and plastics – showing that no matter where you throw trash, it eventually ends up in the sea, even in areas where people don’t go.

To help the volunteers to paint his design on this huge wall, Uli Martinez – who has painted several famous murals throughout the state of Baja California Sur – outlined the message and numbered each little section of the mural to indicate its specific color. Subsequently, the volunteers painted each part that was assigned to them. Thus, in a single day, with their enormous effort, it was possible to cover the entire wall with beautiful colors.

On Sunday Uli Martinez, the team of ‘Espíritu Santo es parte de ti’ campaign, and a small group of volunteers were given the task of delineating and adding some details to the wall, such as parrotfish and other creatures, and faces of people, that might not be so obvious from afar, but that will undoubtedly be a pleasant surprise for those who dare to climb the hill to see the wall up close.

Comex, the largest paint company in Mexico, generously donated 100 brushes, 20 gallons of colored paints and 5 buckets of sealant; the organization World Wildlife Fund and Capuchino Café came together to provide all the food for the volunteers and organizers, who were able to enjoy some delicious falafel al pastor tacos; and the organizations Niparajá and Urbanería also contributed greatly to the successful operation of this event. “To them, and to Mar Libre – who tirelessly clean the mangroves, beaches and dive sites around La Paz every month – we give our heart-felt thanks and appreciation” says Lucía, “and most of all, we thank our many supporters and volunteers, without whom none of this would have been possible! This kind of collaborative action shows us that when we come together we have the power to initiate change   and improve the world we live in.”

More information:

Facebook @Espiritu Santo es parte de ti

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