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The Clean Wave has local volunteers from surrounding communities as well as youth volunteers from Costa Rica International Academy, TIDE Academy,
La Paz, and Renaissance Institute Tamarindo.  - Do It Foundation photo -

Earth Day is celebrated with over 100 volunteers collecting plastic
and debris at popular Guanacaste beaches

Published Friday, April 23, 2021

By Tony Darrick Baker

Guanacaste, Costa Rica, has an amazing reputation for its remarkable tropical allure and its embrace of ecotourism. Often referred to as the Gold Coast, the northwest Pacific region provides world-class surfing, dramatic sunsets with epic ocean views, and endless opportunities for swimming, fishing, golfing, scenic horseback riding, and warm sunny days on the beach.

All of that tends to get spoiled when a relaxing walk is interrupted with unsightly plastic washing up on the shores.

According to data from the Ministry of Health, there is an estimated 564 tons of plastic waste produced every single day in Costa Rica; 80% of it ends up in the ocean. Only about 11% winds up in landfills and dumpsites, and less than 9% of plastic is recycled.

Thursday, April 22, marked the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. The holiday has become a global event since it was first introduced in 1970. It’s become a day to be inspired by the Earth and all of its beauty and to work on protecting it for generations to come through education and by example.

This year, Earth Day was celebrated with over 100 volunteers from The Clean Wave. The group went to 4 popular beaches to help clean up plastic, trash, and other debris that has washed up onto the shores of Langosta, Tamarindo, Grande, and Brasilito. The Clean Wave is a non-profit charity based in Tamarindo, Costa Rica that is dedicated to keeping our oceans clean through beach cleanups, recycling, and education.

“I was tired of walking the beach path to Playa Langosta with my friend and co-founder Juan Arias and seeing trash all the time. Instead of complaining about the problem, we tried finding a solution,” said Andrés Bermudez, President, and CEO of The Clean Wave. “We are working to help create awareness. We have a lot of kids participating in this event and I think the impact on kids is bigger than on adults sometimes.”

The Clean Wave has local volunteers from surrounding communities as well as youth volunteers from Costa Rica International Academy, TIDE Academy, La Paz, and Renaissance Institute Tamarindo.

Other organizations and companies also participated in the cleanup. The Do It Foundation, in cooperation with El Lagar DoIt Center, provided dozens of washable protective gloves and recyclable bags this year.

“We’re happy to help raise awareness and education about the importance of working to help clean our local beaches,” said John Scheman, founder of the Do It Foundation. “Our environment is a vital asset that we owe our children and our future generations. We loved being a part of this opportunity to support our communities in this way.”

The Clean Wave has done dozens of beach clean-ups and will be doing them again soon. You can find out more about The Clean Wave, volunteer opportunities, and future events by visiting their  Facebook page.

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