Las Mujeres Ambientalistas, or the Women Environmentlists, are a group of women in Estelí that recycle paper, add natural plant fibers, hand-make paper to make greeting cards. This project is about what a group of women accomplished in cleaning up an area that was being used as a garbage dump and polluting the local stream where their children were playing. The result is an eco friendly project that recycles junk mail and office paper into beautiful homemade products that help create sustainability for continuing to keep the area clean and safe.
Who are they?
The Association of Women Environmentalists in the barrio Boris-Vega of Esteli, Nicaragua was born in 1996. They are a group of women deeply concerned for the health and safety of their children. Lying in the lowest part of the valley was a stretch of vacant land used as an illegal dumping ground by locals, who dumped everything, including dead animals in a festering heap. Trash filled the creek and chemicals leached into the stream that winds the around edge of the property. Detesting this, the women began to take measures to clean up the three acre lot to make it safe for their children once again. Along the way someone suggested that they separate the garbage and recycle it. Once the land was cleaned and cleared they turned to recycling paper and the organization was born. The original group of about fifteen women drifted apart and ceased to function. Later a smaller group re initiated the project in a more focused direction. Through a government grant the city of Esteli, built the buildings and and provided the equipment to begin the recycling of paper.
To read more, please visit their homepage.