The last Monday of the project, wow! This entire experience has just flown by in the blink of an eye. As we are nearing the end we have entered crunch time, each person is working quickly to complete as many aspects as possible. Each section of the project is coming together to gather feedback and establish a clear path forward, as our Wednesday presentation with the community quickly approaches. Our children’s education team is busy at work creating interactive lesson plans to teach the kids basic recycling and waste habits that can be then used at home. The branding and awareness team is working closely with all groups to create a cohesive style for all signage and visual components of the project. Moving towards infrastructure and pilot project both are designing systems and schedules that will be during the easy the process ounce implementation begins. By Wednesday we hope to accomplish a fully designed system that will ensure El Cocal has a waste management system and the ability to organize similar activities in the future.
Day 5 of our journey brings a day of writing and experiencing the local Friday market. Majority of the day was spent gathering our thoughts and creating a more organized perspective on the interviews and observations we had made. Over the past 4 days we have been observing and speaking to the Quepos and El Cocal community members. In the morning we started with a debrief on our meeting with Warren from the municipality. We discussed the limits that the municipality has when interacting with El Cocal, as well as the reasoning behind why bridges and access to roads are not an option for Cocal. This discussion as a group was a large step in understanding the waste management options for Cocal, as the municipality has no ability to go over to Cocal without setting a precedent that contradicts the Costa Rican Environmental Polices.
At this point in the project we are establishing what we as a class can truly do to help decrease the waste in El Cocal. After our debrief we begun the decision process of dividing into four groups, these groups will be who we work with over the next 2 weeks. Each group has a specific focus, Waste Infrastructure, Awareness Campaign, Pilot Model and Children’s Education. By the end these four sections will come together as one to create a long term system.
For the rest of the morning and majority of the afternoon we worked individually on our first project, reflecting on our first week in Costa Rica. Everyone was scattered around the hostel working at there on pace and taking breaks when needed.
In the later evening we put down our computers, put away our notes and head out into Quepos for the market. The market was located near the board walk and was filled with various venders, most selling fruits and vegetables but others had jewelry, succulents, baked goods and meats. One vender sells hand made jewelry made by him and his wife which I really liked. Some of the necklaces were made of recycled materials like €10 aluminum colones (Costa Rican currency) and coconut shells that had been carved and warped into beautiful designs. The craftsmanship of these goods were so intriguing as you rarely get the opportunity to speak directly to the designers of products in Toronto.
In the evening we all gathered back at the hostel for a healthy dinner of vegetables and local produce. This concluded the events for day 5!