On March 27th, EARTH University announced that the leadership and implementation of the environmental education initiative EcoRomeria will now be in the hands of the Costa Rican Red Cross, with the support of the Catholic Church and the municipalities of Cartago, La Union and Curridabat.
The Red Cross will take over the role previously played by EARTH and the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Seas (MINAE) in the management of the project, which includes the recruitment and coordination of more than a thousand volunteers and the installation of dozens of waste classifiers at strategic points throughout the 13-mile pilgrimage route.
In the previous three years, EcoRomeria has helped educate millions of Costa Ricans about the importance of correctly classifying waste, and has successfully collected a total of 5.7 tons of plastic, 6.5 tons of co-processable products, 478 pounds of Tetra Brik containers, 315 pounds of aluminum and 1,704 pounds of organic materials.
EARTH University president José Zaglul comments that “What has been most important is the educational process that has occurred among the Costa Ricans who have taken responsibility for the initiative and made it all possible.”
The Red Cross has integrated several programs that will impact social areas and community development into their strategic development plan, in addition to their traditional work with emergencies and disasters. “Our main goal is to create awareness among the participants so that instead of throwing their trash on the street, they deposit their bottles, bags or waste in the appropriate place. This project will help us replicate these actions in the community, workplace and in schools,” said Orlando Esquivel, general manager of the Costa Rican Red Cross.
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