I live in Pinar de la Venta, a rural community perched on a mountaintop eight kilometers from Guadalajara.
Not long ago, in our local Whatsapp chat, I began to see notices every two weeks inviting people to collect and contribute their recyclables.
The posts came from Xela Lloyd and Xochil Vandroogenbroeck, two young students living in my neighborhood. I asked them why they had decided to start this project instead of spending all day with their noses in a smartphone, like so many other young moderns.
“It all began when we would drive through these streets and see what sort of things people were throwing out, to be picked up by the trash collectors,” Xela said. “We realized that most of what was out there was recyclable. We kept seeing people in the chat complain that we should be recycling here, but all they did was talk about it. They never took the initiative. Finally, we got tired of all that complaining, so we decided to go ahead and do something ourselves. That’s how it all started!”
I asked Xela and Xochil how they had arranged for somebody to come far from town to our mile-high community to pick things up twice a month.