When Melody Peterson saw that dogs were spreading the trash left for garbage pick-up in her neighborhood in Ajijic, she came up with an ingenious solution – the basura (trash) board.
She had a local worker make the long, rectangular board with hooks to hold bags of garbage. These were attached to telephone and electrical poles to keep the garbage off the ground and out of the reach of animals.
Since Peterson is an artist, she, of course, decorated the boards with her charming artwork. The boards were an instant success.
The village people started to use them and the streets became less cluttered with scattered trash. Even more boards began showing up in Ajijic, made by the Have Hammers organization.
Bud and Sandy Gallagher felt the idea could be successfully extended to other areas, in particular the village of San Juan Cosala.
With that thought in mind, they donated materials for a number of basura boards to San Juan’s Magical Token Store. This store provides work for the villagers, paying for their work in tokens, which can then be spent in the shop. The Token Store gladly accepted the challenge, and soon more basura boards were popping up on the Carretera in this west end village.
The Token Store then decided to pay this donation forward by providing materials to make basura boards at the two-week ProMexico camp for kids in San Juan Cosala. This fit perfectly with the theme of the camp – “Caring for Our World.”
The older children at the camp happily took on this project and created their own works of art. The project culminated in the ceremonious hanging of the boards around the village.
The local government delegada, Lola Carbajal, came to commend the work of the children and suggest the best locations.
Bud Gallagher and Tony Trublood also brought hammers and nails to help the children mount the boards.
With the support and enthusiasm of both organizations and individuals, Peterson’s idea is destined to make lakeside a cleaner and more beautiful place.