Upon completion of the camp the participants use their new skills to start a club in their home communities and pass on the information they have learned. The clubs hold monthly meetings and develop sustainable projects to help strengthen their communities.
The Club Mariposa of San Jose Xacxamayo expressed interest in cleaning-up trash in their community. They plan to host workshops on how to recycle and reuse their waste, as well as hold monthly clean-ups.
To begin this project, club members first needed to learn how to properly separate trash and how to create art and household items out of the recyclables. Local university students came to their community and hosted a workshop on waste management.
To date, the girls have organized several events in their community. One was a workshop that taught locals how to make plant holders out of plastic bottles. Another event event was the club’s first community clean-up. Twenty-five women and children participated in collecting over 100 pounds of trash! The participants separated the trash and the plastic bottles that they collected will be sold in order to generate money for the club to use in additional clean-ups or materials for workshops.
Several club members have also participated in local eco-fairs as workshop leaders. In leading these workshops, the young women build their confidence and gain valuable leadership skills.
The community Santa María Las Cuevas is home to a biologically diverse pinyon pine forest. As the girls’ first community service project, Club Las Cuevas held a large school reforestation event to reiterate the importance of their community’s forest. CONAFOR (Mexican Forest Service) donated pinyon pine seedlings (a native tree species!) and nearly 200 elementary and middle school students participated in the event. Forty community firefighters helped to prepare the land for the trees.
The Mariposas were key in organizing the event. They presented at PTA meetings, met with the elementary and middle school directors, and made several announcements about the event to the 9 different classes that would be participating. At the event, the girls spoke about Camp Mariposas, Club Mariposas, and the importance of protecting the environment. The girls gained a TON of confidence, as they had to speak in front of 200+ people! The girls are already busy planning their next project, so stay tuned for more details!
Club Atzitzintla voted during their first meeting that they would construct gardens at their middle and high schools. After two workshops on how to create square foot gardens and how to start seeds in seed trays, the girls worked to prep the soil, delineate the squares, and plant seeds. The garden construction day was a very fun and all are very excited to reap what they have sown.
From their initial community garden, the young women involved in Club Atzitzintla have not only expanded their green space, but they have also begun a wide array of other projects. To raise funds, the girls will paint children’s faces at community fiestas and gatherings. They began a clothing collection and donation campaign to give sweaters, jackets, and other items to the neediest members of the community. The girls even held their own, mini-Mariposa-type camp, where they held workshops on health and the environment. Lastly, their garden is now a teaching resource; they used recycled bottles to design the garden and use the space to teach community members the importance of recycling and reusing items.