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Our Representatives in the Sea

After a year of joint work, more than 30 young people from the South Caribbean of Costa Rica managed to develop new skills within the framework of the "Surveillance, monitoring, and conservation of the coastal marine ecosystem of Puerto Viejo" alliance implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the Community Diving Center of the community.

This initiative is part of the project for the construction of the Sanitary Sewer System and the Wastewater Treatment Plant in Puerto Viejo and allowed the Ambassadors of the Sea from that Center to receive diving training, either as beginners or divemasters, as well as to carry out studies of corals and underwater archaeology. Also, within the framework of this alliance, beach cleaning activities were promoted, local entrepreneurship development with the participation of young people, and training in communication techniques that become future development tools.

The valuable work carried out by the Center was strengthened with the support of UNOPS, which committed to the efforts of young people to leave no one behind and to build a possible future alongside a population committed to environmental protection, especially its bodies of water.

To close this stage, an event was held to commemorate the lessons learned by the trained young people, which featured the participation of seven of them: Ana María Arenas, Esteban Gallo, Maraya Jiménez, Antonio Mora, Anderson Rodríguez, Anumí Sassaroli, and Pete Stephens; and María Suárez Toro, a visionary woman who has driven this idea with great enthusiasm.

During the reflection on their learning processes, a space for feedback about the agreement was generated, as well as anticipation, because they will be the group that, once the sanitation project is operational, will continue the preservation of the coral reef and the health of the community.

During her speech, 18-year-old Anumí Sassaroli stated, "We, the sea ambassadors, respect the sea, which is the home of other species, and that's why when we go diving, we do it with respect because we want to take care of our planet. When we dive, we are the connection with the community, and for this reason, we are committed to protecting the marine ecosystem. We know that the sanitary sewer system of Puerto Viejo will allow us to live in a better Puerto Viejo."

Similarly, discussions took place on how the courses helped to broaden employment opportunities for young people living in an area with one of the lowest human development indices in the country, which generally determines the viable paths available to its residents.

From UNOPS, we trust that their sensitivity and commitment will allow their efforts to be replicated and the transformation of Puerto Viejo to be comprehensive. “We support this initiative because it is an excellent investment for the future of Costa Rica, betting on its youth, the conservation of nature, and the leadership that new generations must necessarily assume to ensure a possible future". stated Alejandro Rossi, Director of the UNOPS Office in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, and Panama.

At the beginning of the project, we confirmed the need to involve community leaders in the work, because their voice and active involvement allowed us to have allies on land and sea.


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