Recycling in Arequipa, Peru

Working with local people in caring for the environment is one of hundreds of ways in which Medical Mission Sisters around the world try to be a healing presence to others today.

In Arequipa, Peru, our Sisters are active in a number of villages near the parish of Christ the Liberator. Sister Marisol Martinez explains, “Being a very populated zone, year by year pollution has increased. The majority of people and factories throw toxic residues in the river…in many cases, garbage has to be burned because there are no available garbage trucks to collect it.”

In May, 2010, our Sisters began a project with women from two of the common kitchens involved with the Christian Studies Center and Popular Education (CECYCAP). Meetings and workshops are being held every 15 days, covering such topics as:

–    environmental pollution
–    sources of contamination – water, air, and soil
–    other types of pollution –sound and visual
–    types of residues – solids, organic and inorganic
–    recyclable material – paper, cardboard, plastics, glass and metal
–    commitment to the environment

Once a week for two hours, the participating women, in uniforms, collect bottles, cardboard, plastic and metal cans. On Saturdays, they select and separate items to be sold to companies that are committed to care of the environment.

Sister Marisol shares, “Most of the women have learned a lot about recycling as a way of caring for the planet and having another source of livelihood for their families…they feel happy and also know that through the project they are creating consciousness in their families and the whole society.”

January 15, 2011