I am working as the Education and Outreach Fellow with Think Beyond Plastic on the Bay Islands of Honduras to raise awareness of the marine plastic pollution problem and encourage local solutions.
Thankfully my day-long trip to Roatan was one of the smoothest trips I’ve ever experienced- with only a half an hour of layover my checked luggage managed to make it on the plane from San Salvador to Roatan and my landlord was kind enough to pick me up from the Roatan airport. After only three days of settling into my new place in the West End community of Roatan, Karl and I turned around and headed to Utila, the second largest Bay Island, where the other Think Beyond Plastic fellow lives, Saba Ijadi. We attended a Recycled Art fashion show put on by the largest conservation organization on the islands, the Bay Islands Conservation Association. It was great to see local students of Utila get creative with recycled material to design elaborative dresses, umbrellas hair accessories and more.
We also met up with students from EdActs Global, a field trip of students from Norway, South Dakota, and Southern California who came to Utila to work with local students to talk about ocean conservation. It was inspiring talking with these students who are ocean conservation activists at such a young age and are engaged in leading innovation and solutions for marine pollution. The students from Norway told us about a machine that they helped design to control currents to collect plastic debris in the ocean! Such exciting innovations are out there already and students are at the forefront of it all! The rest of the week on Utila we met up with other local conservation organizations and we are starting to put together ideas to create a plastic reduction competition among the local public schools of Utila. We are also hoping to partner with the organizers of Utila Carnival Festival in July to try and make this festival less plastic intensive and organize a green team to help clean up the event. We are beyond excited about these ideas and the progress we made during our four day stay on Utila! We are excited to go back at the beginning of July to follow up and implement these projects.
In celebration of Ocean’s Day this past Friday, Karl and I participated in a children’s event organized by the local environmental NGO’s we work with on Roatan. These organizations presented on local environmental topics and hosted activities and food for the local youth. Karl and I assisted the organizers with logistical tasks and we got to connect with our NGO partners for the first time since arriving on the island. We are excited to continue building relationships with organizations that are dedicated to environmental education! We are looking forward to making progress on our various projects and settling into our new home on Roatan!