by Aubrey Saunders ’18
Today we started with a fish I.D. survey and then made our way over to the meeting place of the STINAPA Junior Rangers. The Junior Rangers is an environmental educational youth group, and some of the participants are even part of Jong Bonaire. The Junior Rangers usually meet once a week to discuss a plan of service to be carried out on Saturdays. They had invited us to take part in one of their meetings to inform them on the details of our service trip and take part in some simple conversation about culture and service. Everyone there was very nice and made us feel welcome. We split up into five groups to make it easier to talk about our service and get to know one another. It was interesting to hear how different Bonairian life is, compared to American life, as well as how they are helping to make an impact on the future of Bonaire.
Following this meeting, the group traveled to the same shore we visited to clean up oil last week. This time we were returning to clean up the massive amount of trash that had washed up on the beach from Bonaire’s neighbor, Venezuela. It was impossible to ignore the fact that it seemed like our efforts to clean up the oil barely made even the smallest impact. Nevertheless, we got to work cleaning up trash by trying to fill about two large bags per person. We tried to pick up things that would be most harmful to the environment. As we finished our work, all of our trash put together made it seem as though we had really made an impact. However, looking back at the shore, that was not the case. While it may seem like we are barely making a dent in the efforts to clean up the East coast shore, I realize that every effort counts no matter how small and that without it, no progress would be made. That is why it is important for groups to continue to support the preservation of Bonaire’s east coast beaches.