Santa Catalina: Recycle for the Birds

Year: 2011
Country: Peru
Project Status: Funded
Impact Sector: Environment
Project Investment: $452.86

Project Launch:

This project will be take place in Campesina Muchik Santa Catalina de Chongoyape, a large collection of villages about 60 kilometers east of Chiclayo, Peru. The area is located in an equatorial dry forest, one of the most interesting ecosystems on earth. It is home to over 230 different species of birds, one of particular interest being the White-Winged Guan. The White-Winged Guan is critically endangered, and the community has made many successful reintroductions of the species through its private nature reserve, Chaparri. Chaparri was created in 2001 and allows families that own land in the area to share in the financial benefits of eco-tourism.

The Santa Catalina Recycle for the Birds project aims to increase recycling and conservation, while also positively impacting the eco-tourism industry in the area. This will be done through first establishing a community recycling center. High school students will create various art project with the recycled materials, which will then be sold in the gift shop at the entrance to the Chaparri private nature reserve. Money earned from selling the recycled souvenirs will be used to support the recycling center and to take the students on a field trip to the Crax Zoo 2000, where they will learn more about the White-Winged Guan and how their community is supporting its preservation. A secondary component of this project will involve creating bird watching benches around the nearby Tinajones reservoir using eco-bricks made from recycled materials. These benches will allow visitors to admire local waterfowl and learn more about local wildlife.

Project Update, May 2012

"This project is still a work in progress, but has experienced many successes along the way. The goal of having one community recycling center has shifted, as now the community is working toward having 5 separate recycling centers in the five rural primary schools in the community. Recycled art is being made and placed in the tourist center of Chaparri and is beginning to sell. Youth leaders are continuing to be successful leaders. 4 benches have been made and placed around the reservoir; families and tourists are enjoying their presence and the surrounding nature. The prospect of a trip to the zoo has been changed to a trip to a rescue center in the town of Puerto Eten to learn about conservation of the Peruvian Humboldt penguins. Community members are in high spirits and [students] are excited about the trip." – Tina, Peace Corps Volunteer


"It has been a wonderful experience to witness the changes that this project has brought to all of the people in the community. I watched the people change from passing the Tinajones reservoir to sitting down on the eco-brick filled benches spending time with family enjoying nature in its fullest. I watched the children of the primary schools go from throwing their trash in the streets to separating them into different labeled trashcans or in plastic bottles to make the eco-bricks. I watched children take on leadership roles and teach other children about the importance of protecting their environment." – Tina, Peace Corps Volunteer
"The field trip to the beach was good for reinforcing the hard work of the kids that made the eco-bricks, they were able to enjoy a trip to learn all about the Penguins and for some it was their first time enjoying time on the beach." – Alindor Culqui Gonzeles, Project Leader
"It was really a beautiful trip. It was my first time ever going to the Puerto Eten beach. I learned a lot about the different types of birds there, for example the guide showed us pelican bones, which I couldn’t believe the size. I also learned how they use the excrement of the birds as compost. My favorite part was when we were able to see the Penguins." – Milagros, 9, Project Participant