Our usual cleanups that began as a family affair have blossomed into something much more wonderful....We began inviting friends to join and then friends of friends came along, and somewhere along the line our cleanups matured into gatherings and official events for our island community.
In December, we held our first community cleanup in Anjos which kicked off our Winter Cleanup Sessions with such good vibes that we decided to make it an annual series of events during the winter season.
With that experience under our belt, for Earth Day, we wanted to tackle something special that would encourage even more volunteers to come out, and so came the notion of doing an island wide cleanup, thinking that if it was successful, we could make it a tradition.
Once we set out to do it, it kind of gained a life of it's own - first our incredible volunteer leaders, then sponsors, and many others came on board helping us to promote it.
And despite having to change the date last minute due to weather, it turned out pretty well! We had about 80 volunteers positioned at all of our major ports - Anjos, Praia Formosa & Prainha, São Lourenço and Maia. With their help, by kayak, boat, truck and on foot we removed more than 1/2 TON or 500 kilos of ocean plastic and marine debris from the coastline of our small island in only 2 hours. And perhaps best of all, we had fun doing it together!
From the 80 volunteers, about 15 children joined us, actively lending a hand and raising awareness for the future.
We are grateful to the local Asas Atlantico Radio Station who helped us to promote the event (we had our first radio interview in Portugese!).
We are super appreciative for the support from two of our local restaurants, Bar Anjos and Ponta Negra as well as the Associaçao dos Amigos do Maia who all came onboard without even asking!! They all made sure our volunteers were well hydrated and fed!
Many thanks again to everyone who helped make it happen - It is such an amazing feeling to see people come together and work to create something positive, to care for our ocean and appreciate the natural beauty of our island.
Santa Maria, best Island ever.