Beach Plastic Art: Quixotic Creativity

4 . 12 . 2020

Hidden behind the walls of Casco Antiguo lies a small unique beach called Santo Domingo, the only natural beach in Panama City. This hidden beach is a place where the local community gathers to escape the stress of their daily lives, enjoy the breeze, and occasionally enjoy a good day of Stand-Up Paddle. Yet, this beach is not only for us humans, we also share this beach with beautiful turtles that use it as a place for nesting every year. Santo Domingo Beach provides Casqueños the perfect spot to escape and connect with nature in the middle of the city.

Santo Domingo Beach in Panama

Sadly, through time and with the rise of the use of plastic the ocean has gotten more contaminated and with its waves and the tide leave garbage and plastic on the beach. To restore the beauty of our seashore, to save the turtles, and to fight the on-going contamination of our oceans, the community of Casco Viejo have organized themselves as group that meets for regular beach cleaning walks. The activity involves neighbors of all ages and background that come together to support their neighborhood and the environment.

4. Plastic -Comunidad

Thanks to the efforts by the community, today the beach remains impeccable. Yet even though a constant clean-up can result in a beautiful beach, it does not solve the root problem. Having seen the consequences of plastic pollution first-hand and motivated to be part of the solution the community has not only started recycling, with the help of the Recicla por Tu Futuro program, but has also started using plastic in creatives ways to drive the conversation even further. 

In the past month community members have been collecting plastic bottles and using them as decorative pieces to build an art structure that emphasizes the importance of reducing and reusing plastic and to bring awareness towards caring for our beaches and oceans. The structure will hold form of an arc decorated with recycled bottle flowers painted by the community and framed with wooden pieces from the beach. This structure hopes to become a tourist destination for pictures and a piece that instigate reflection on the possible uses of plastics.

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