February 2nd is the national holiday celebrating the wetlands. Since I live in a notable RAMSAR wetlands site by Lake Chinchaycocha, SERNANP and the Municipality of Junín organized activities for the first week of February and the environmental PCVs helped promote them in our communities. February 1st was a “Paseo por las Orillas del Lago” (field trip to visit lake); children who attended learned about bird watching with an opportunity to try out binoculars and participated in games with environmental education themes. Unfortunately, the site is not really accessible by public transportation and last minute organization meant children from many communities in the region did not attend – including my community…room for improvement next year! “Caminata por la Conservación del Lago Chinchaycocha” (walk for the conservation of the lake) was February 2nd and included a choice of two locations for the walk – one in the department of Junín (southern part of the lake) and the other in the department of Pasco (northern part of the lake). My community participated in the 5K walk to the city plaza of Junín, proudly carrying our town’s banner and beautiful signs recycled from last year. This year introduced the 1st Annual “Concurso de Reciclaje” (Recycling Contest); participants competed for the most creative reutilization of solid waste (bottles, cans, paper, wrappers, etc) and to encourage environmental awareness they were also required to include a brief explanation of why their reutilization of materials is important for the environment. Each community had a preliminary competition on Friday January 29th and the winners were invited to compete in the finals in the city of Junín on February 3rd. Participants from my community won 3rd place for the adult age group!! The concluding event on February 6th was the “Festival Ecoturistico y Campeonato Deportivo” (festival and sports competition) which included an opportunity to finally enter the lake on a boat/raft as well a variety of sports competitions between the communities. Unfortunately the weather was terrible making it less enjoyable than it could have been.
All in all a successful celebration for 2010!