Rivera Cuale Environmental Awareness Day
Saturday, June 27th marked a special day at Rivera Cuale, the award-winning condominium development on the banks of the Cuale River in El Caloso. Children from the community were invited to participate in a day of environmentally educational activities and fun.
Around 10 am, the kids and their moms started arriving. They were greeted by the Rivera Cuale team and given T-shirts specially designed for the event, with “Chicos Rescatistas” and a graphic of trees on the front to convey the concept of kids rescuing the environment.
The logos were in three different colors to mirror the colors the City of Puerto Vallarta is using in its initiative to separate garbage – green for Organic, blue for Inorganic, and orange for Sanitary. Mr. C. Isidro Gilberto Hernández Cárdenas, Manager of the City’s “Participación Ciudadana,” personally visited Rivera Cuale in the morning to bring garbage bags and show the kids the different-colored stickers.
At the same time, Salvador Lorenzana, Manager of the Sierra Madre tour at Vallarta Adventures, was helping to organize and prepare the kids for their first activity. Salvador explained the different types of garbage and got the kids pumped. Then, he and participants from Rivera Cuale led the kids through the streets in the area surrounding the river to collect garbage.
In the interest of safety, the slick river banks were avoided. The effort of the kids picking up and sorting garbage was tremendous and heart-warming, with little ones as young as two helping out! About 50 children and the other helpers collected 20 bags of garbage in an hour’s time – enough to fill the back of a pickup truck!
Shortly after noon, the participants returned to Rivera Cuale to wash up and eat lunch. After that there were more activities. The kids were broken into two groups: one to stay outside to learn more about the environment; the other to watch videos about nature, contamination, taking care of the planet and recycling. Then the two groups switched places. The kids were very attentive throughout.
Next, some real fun and excitement began! Everyone gathered outside for a surprise game, where the kids were asked questions based on things they had been taught throughout the day. There were prizes for correct answers, with lots of eager hands going up!
Following that was a drawing for prizes generously donated by local businesses wanting to support the cause and help make the day fun for the kids: Los Arbolitos Restaurant, Frutas Baca, Deportes Gutiérrez Rizo, Supermercado Gutiérrez Rizo, Ecotours de Mexico, Encore Consignment Boutique, Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens and Red Cabbage Cafe.
The day ended with a symbolic activity, where the kids gathered in Rivera Cuale’s on-site nursery to plant a young Parota tree (one of 10 donated by Tropical America Landscaping.) One thoughtful boy took his drinking cup from earlier in the day to the river’s edge, filled it with water, and returned to water the freshly planted tree. Clearly, he had learned something from the day and was already looking for ways to do his part in caring for the environment. And there were other kids too, clutching their prizes in one hand, and their cups from the beginning of the day in the other – to take home to reuse!
Rivera Cuale is looking forward to working together with the community to foster environmental awareness and cooperation. Leanne Smith of Rivera Cuale, who coordinated this event, believes this will become a bi-annual happening. She also hopes to get the kids involved in acting as ambassadors of the river and the environment, in line with the “Chicos Rescatistas” logo of the new T-shirts.
If you happen to be crossing the L. Cárdenas bridge over the Cuale River, be sure to take a look at the new banner there with its special message: “Es tu río, ayúdanos a mantenerlo limpio. No tires basura. Gracias por cuidar tu medio ambiente al futuro.” (It’s your river, help us keep it clean. Do not litter. Thank you for taking care of the environment in the future.)