The Americas up the ante

All across the Americas, 28 different World Cleanup Day country teams are rolling up their sleeves and gearing up for the big day of action on 15 September – despite this part of the world historically being one of the least active in the Let’s Do It! movement. Two recent events have helped take the […]

All across the Americas, 28 different World Cleanup Day country teams are rolling up their sleeves and gearing up for the big day of action on 15 September – despite this part of the world historically being one of the least active in the Let’s Do It! movement.

Two recent events have helped take the movement for a cleaner planet in the Americas up another notch, and bring even more countries on board to this fast growing movement.

The Let’s Do It! Latin America Leaders Academy held in Panama City, and the JCI Americas Conference held in Miami, saw 10 new country teams join up for World Cleanup Day, and existing teams gain momentum for the upcoming mass global cleanup.

Latin America Leaders Academy

23 leaders from 9 different Latin American countries (pictured above) came together for an inspiring and energising Leaders Academy, in Panana City from the 24-30 May.

Representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Bahamas and Mexico, attended the academy to share knowledge, gain new skills, and create valuable connections.

Stories of challenges and successes from across Latin America were shared by leaders, giving inspiration and a renewed sense of determination to all.  The long-established Brazil team told of their excellent partnership work with municipalities and schools; Argentina told of passionate efforts to spread mapping and cleanup initiatives across the country, and Colombia spoke of a great resurgence in the movement nationally.

Two countries’ stories stood out as particularly inspiring examples of the Let’s Do It movement’s ability to overcome all obstacles and achieve incredible things, regardless of the circumstances. In Venezuela, the team are ploughing on in the face of economic crisis and deep divisions in the country, and in Guatemala, the issue of waste pollution has been overshadowed by the recent volcanic eruption.

Nara Petrovič, long-standing member of the Let’s Do It! movement and facilitator of the Leaders Academy, said of the event: “Latin America is up and running. Seemingly impossible things can be done – easily – when wisdom and passion work together on an urgent matter. That’s what we’ve seen in Panama, and that’s our recipe for success.”

JCI America Conference

The biggest and most active partner in the World Cleanup Day movement, Junior Chamber International (JCI), held their American regional conference in Miami, USA, from 6-9 June.

The conference brought over 700 people from JCI groups across the Americas together, with World Cleanup Day featuring as one of the hottest topics at the conference.

A World Cleanup Day workshop, led by Let’s Do It! Head of Network, Heidi Solba, and Head of Mapping, Kadri Maripuu (pictured above right, with JCI team members), was packed out with enthusiastic and determined JCI World Cleanup Day leaders.

The World Cleanup Day team also featured in the conference’s Morning Show broadcast, a Panel discussion around “Engaging Citizens to Build a Resilient Future”, and at a conference booth engaging new and exisiting members of the movement (pictured above left).

To top it all off, a beach cleanup took place on Miami beach as part of the conference, with over 100 participants collecting 150kg of waste from the shore.

For Heidi Solba, Let’s Do It! Head of Network, the highlight of the conference was gaining 10 eager new teams to the World Cleanup Day movement, mostly from islands in the Carribean.

She said of the events: “Both these events gave me a powerful reminder of how lucky we are to have such fantastic people in our movement. It’s not important where we are from, or what organization we are working for, only what is bonding us – our hearts, and our desire to make a change in the world. Power lies in collaboration.”