First Friday of the month means time for some island love in Tres Cocos

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After two hours picking up trash in the broiling sun, why is this group smiling? Island love, for sure as well as iced coffee and cookies from Marbucks and chilled and scented washcloths from Pilates by Rose sure help.
After two hours picking up trash in the broiling sun, why is this group smiling? Island love, for sure as well as iced coffee and cookies from Marbucks and chilled and scented washcloths from Pilates by Rose sure help.

It is a new month and a first Friday has come and gone and if you live north of the bridge on Ambergris Caye, you know what that means: There is less trash on the side of the road.

Our monthly project, First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pickup, is yielding some real dividends.

 

Linda Rumney shows off her new trash picking stick with Susan Barkhouse.
Freshly back from Canada, Linda Rumney shows off her new trash picking stick with Susan Barkhouse.

Most obvious is that for once during the month, the sides of the road and the beach are a lot less trashier. The reality is that within a day, people will be chucking their bottles and Styrofoam lunch containers, diapers and water bags as they pass through the neighborhood.

We get that.

But we hope every month that the message goes a little wider and fewer people have dumped their refuse beside the road.

Here is a great selection of photographs from Sue Blair on the First Friday Tres Cocos Trash Pick Up  Facebook page.

The good news is that a design has been picked for trash barrels and the town of San Pedro may be distributing them in the near future! The barrels will give people traveling north of the bridge a place to put their trash, for once. View the winning entry, from Juanece Messervy, right here.

Carmen Arenal, Chad Kruckeberg, Scott Barkhouse and Wayne McCrae are ready to roll.
Carmen Arenal, Chad Kruckeberg, Scott Barkhouse and Wayne McCrae are ready to roll.

As with any project like this, there is a core group that shows up month after month, despite the frustration. After the second time, the novelty is no longer there and the charm is well wiped away. What is left is island love, companionship and neighborhood pride.

Doug Kelly digs in, already on his second bag of trash.
Doug Kelly digs in, already on his third bag of trash.

And it helps so much that Carmen Arenal of Coco Loco’s Beach Bar keeps  steady supply of cold water available to hydrate the volunteers — while she ferries filled bags back to the pickup zone. At the end of the line, Marbucks Coffee House  is waiting for us with ice coffee, cookies and tea and Rose Alcantara  of Pilates by Rose has a eucalyptus scented chilled white wash cloth for each of us.

From left, Melaney Jones-Pylot, Sue Blair and Sally Backaluckas are fashionably ready for First Friday.
From left, Melaney Jones-Pylot, Sue Blair and Sally Backaluckas are fashionably ready for First Friday.

This month we had a special guest volunteer from Oceana Belize, Roxy Perez-Gentle. Oceana has been at the forefront of cleaning the Belize shores and preventing oil exploration on the barrier reef, among other projects.

Well, come October, the weather might be cooler, the trash a little less and the friendships as strong and welcoming as ever.

Come, join us.

PS: Anyone traveling down from the States or Canada to Ambergris Caye, please consider packing a handful of the cheap trash picker sticks you can find at Home Depot or the Dollar Store. Our aching backs will thank you!

PPS: If there are any real estate companies up here with lots for sale — you know, the one’s whose lots we clean up — or and major beverage distributing companies — whose empty products account for about half our trash — well, hey, we are looking for sponsors who can provide trash bags, gloves, water, nice hats, t-shirts, beer …..

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4 thoughts on “First Friday of the month means time for some island love in Tres Cocos

    cbowen0322@yahoo.com said:
    September 7, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Bob,

    Cannot find this post. When I click on the read more, it goes to the First Friday post! Help! I need to know more about pirates!!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      September 7, 2015 at 3:51 pm

      Sorry. When I published the post on First Friday it seems to have overwritten the post on pirates! Aaaargh. I’ll reconstruct it as soon as I can.

      Like

    lINDA yOUNG said:
    September 7, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Good job, you guys! KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, AND WE’LL BE THERE TO HELP OUT THIS WINTER!!!

    Like

    Susan said:
    September 20, 2015 at 5:33 am

    We missed this one, had just arrived and by the time we got to the Island and settled in, you were done…darn! BUT we did notice on our ride North how much cleaner it was, so GREAT JOB guys and gals! On our next visit down, remind me you need the sticks and I’ll bring some with me! We did however get to help on Saturday with the Phoenix clean up!

    Like

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