Complementary to our eco-latrine project, the large quantities of litter in El Pochote presented an exciting challenge for the British and Nicaraguan volunteers in El Medio Ambiente Group. Challenge is no understatement. How do you influence a community’s attitude to reflect an outcome that has a more positive impact on the environment? A community that for many of us speaks a different language, has a very different culture from ourselves and has most likely lived this way for years. 

Our answer, “Mando Mando”! A short game played with the students of Pochote to educate them which is the appropriate bin for a particular waste type. “Mando Mando una bottella plastico verde”. The children would all run to find a plastic bottle and then charge back at full speed into the volunteers. After being bombarded by rubbish (and overly excited children) the volunteers would then ask the students which of our 4 sacks labelled “Organica”, “Papel”, “Plastico” and “Plastico Botella” was most suitable for recycling that item. 

Engaging and educating the children in a game was the perfect way to finish what had been a successful day which had also involved a short talk and an educational animation. Our sense of achievement was summed up nicely by British volunteer, Matthew Cooke. “The children really enjoyed the day, were more attentive than I expected and seemed to take on board what we said”. In conclusion, a fun, yet small step towards a more sustainable future for El Pochote, Nicaragua. 

Written by ICS volunteer: Will Pauffley