If you have ever visited Puerto Plata, you have seen the beautiful blue beaches set against a backdrop of gorgeous green mountains speckled with tropical flowers and fruits of all kinds. If you have been out of the tourist all-inclusive resorts, you have probably experienced all of this while also noticing piles of trash along side roads, in gutters, in people’s back yards, and marring those lovely beaches that nobody is paid to clean up daily. Because people often have to rely on bottled (or bagged) water to drink, because the negative aspects of littering are not emphasized, and because there is little infrastructure to deal with many things such as sanitation in the local community (and this could be a discussion for several blog posts but is not the point of this one), the trash problem quickly gets out of hand!
Project Esperanza has found an exciting new way for the students we serve to help clean up their community and at the same time contribute toward the fundraising for the new, permanent school building they desperately need!
Students have been going out to collect bottles and cans, and when they have collected enough to fill a truck, they load up their recyclables and take them to a recycling center, a Recicladora, in Santiago where they are paid for their efforts!
While the ability to fundraise in the Dominican Republic is limited, this is one way that the local community can be part of the work as we come together to raise the needed funds to purchase a place where our students can be educated and play safely!
This is also a potential project for short-term volunteers who could lead a group of volunteers and/or students in a day or several days of clean-up and recycling.
Along these same lines, if your state or province has a deposit on cans and bottles, a weekend bottle drive is a quick way to help us fundraise in solidarity with our students! Sometimes Redemption Centers even add 1 cent for each can/bottle brought back when the money is being donated. Send us your photos to post on the blog and on Facebook!
Some people have also started programs in schools to recycle a variety of objects…from trash to old electronics…in an effort to help PE fundraise! If that is something you think you can do, check out
They, and other organizations like them, give money to charities like Project Esperanza for those enrolled in their recycling programs.
Look for updates about our recycling project on our recycling for Padre Granero Facebook page.
You can donate to our fundraising efforts for a new, permanent school!