How 4ocean is addressing plastic pollution in Guatemala
Three locations, one mission
To maximize our impact, 4ocean Guatemala will operate out of three locations. We have our main base in Puerto Barrios and satellite locations in El Quetzalito and San Francisco del Mar.
Puerto Barrios is a harbor city located in the Gulf of Honduras that’s home to approximately 100,000 residents. The city serves as a port for many cargo ships and even cruise lines. This is where we set up our main cleanup division. There isn’t an easy way to drive to our satellite locations, but this location provides access to Amatique Bay where our crews can use vessels to travel to and from our satellite locations in San Francisco del Mar and El Quetzalito.
El Quetzalito is a small coastal town located alongside the Rio Motagua. The residents are mostly banana farmers, fishermen, and artisans. We currently employ 25 individuals in this location that will soon transition from part-time to full-time employees to recover trash from the river and along the coast.
San Francisco del Mar
San Francisco del Mar is a small coastal village that's home to about 150 people who have traditionally made their living as fishermen. We've hired 15 full-time employees from this location to recover trash that accumulates on the Guatemalan coast, which stretches roughly 30 miles along the east coast of Guatemala from Punta Manabique to the border of Honduras. The village of San Francisco del Mar is settled in the middle of this coastline.
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The full story of 4ocean Guatemala
Discover the causes of plastic pollution in Guatemala
It’s estimated that 80% of ocean plastic comes from “mismanaged waste” on land. In Guatemala, there’s just one official basurero, or garbage dump, for the entire country. It’s in the nation’s capital of Guatemala City and it’s currently the biggest landfill in all of Central America. Over a third of the country’s total trash ends up in the Guatemala City basurero each year, but not all of it stays there.
Tour our main operational facility in Puerto Barrios, Guatemala
It takes a lot of time and resources to open a new cleanup division. Thanks to the clean ocean movement, we purchased an empty tract of land in Guatemala where we could build an entire operational base from the ground up. Located in the thriving port city of Puerto Barrios, our newest base now features a new sea wall, boat ramp, weighing station, sorting facility, bailers, storage yards, and even a shipping container that’s been converted into a solar-powered office!
Explore the tools we use to recover ocean plastic in Guatemala
Let us show you all of the tools and equipment we’ve invested in to keep our crews safe and maximize our impact in Guatemala. Remember that this is what you make possible every time you shop 4ocean and pull a pound of trash.
Meet the people behind 4ocean Guatemala
Opening a new cleanup division really takes a village. It’s a slow and laborious process even at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a global pandemic. But thanks to the clean ocean movement and the herculean efforts of the crew members you’re about to meet, 4ocean Guatemala is not only open, but thriving.
Plastic pollution has a human impact
See what it’s like to live in an area that’s heavily impacted by plastic pollution. Join us as we travel hundreds of miles along the Rio Motagua from the Guatemala City basurero, or garbage dump, to El Quetzalito, a small village at the river mouth that’s working hard to become the last stop for river plastic and see how plastic pollution impacts quality of life not just for the residents of El Quetzalito, but communities around the world.
How we recycle our recovered ocean plastic in Guatemala
After our recovered ocean plastic is weighed, documented, and sorted at our Puerto Barrios facility, it’s transported to Tecnologia Textil Avanzada, or Advanced Textile Technology (TTA), a recycling facility located just outside of Guatemala City. This is where our recovered ocean plastic is transformed into the 4ocean Plastic™ pellets we’ll use to make new products that raise awareness about plastic pollution and fund our global ocean cleanup operation.
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