Cleaning Up My Corner of Costa Rica




tamarindo estuary playa conchal atenas 419

I read a post by a WordPresser who goes by the title inoniamartin in which she spoke of a young man named Ryan who had decided to take  it upon himself to clean up an area of beach.  She went on to say how inspired she and her two children were by his actions that they went out and cleaned up a park they frequent.  She sent out an  invitation to followers to do the same, then make a blog post about it.

This is something I do already, since I like my beach enough to pick up the refuse left by people who don’t like my beach enough to keep it clean, I asked my wife/photographer to come along and take a few shots of me doing what I do.


A Garbage shotSome of what I often find left on the beach is bio-degradable, like pieces of pineapple, coconut shells which vendors sell with a straw to drink the juice, which they call “pipa.”  These sorts of items are a part of the eco-system here, and I usually leave them since animals eat them, or live in them, or hide in them.

Then, there’s the stuff the sign was for…the things people leave on the beach that will be there forever.  And, much of it can be dangerous to people who like to walk on the beach barefoot…people like me.  I picked up several pieces of broken glass from beer bottles, something that can send the unsuspecting beachcomber to the hospital, or the nearest beach club for a little first aid.  And then, there’s the junk that is just annoying.


Yes, Coke is the real thing, so I’ve heard…but not part of the ideal beach experience.


A Garbage shot IIA Garbage shot VIIII












In the bag…along with a plastic container, empty of cans and left floating on the tide.  Some of the beach vendors have garbage bags attached to the sides of their carts, but there’s still plenty of garbage to keep someone like me busy…busy enough to fill one bag with garbage, and then another.



A Garbage shot VA Trash Pick Day




The results of an hour or two of cleaning my small corner of a Costa Rican beach…



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A clean beach the next morning, for me…for my wife…for my neighbors…for the tourists here for only a few days…and for you, Ryan.  It may be a beach you will never visit, and I may never visit the beach you cleaned up, but we did something good for the world, and all the people and animals that share it with us.  There are some sea turtles here called Leatherbacks, which are an endangered species that only come ashore and lay their eggs here on this beach.  I’m sure they would appreciate people like you if they spoke anything but turtle.  Good luck in your effort to keep your beach clean, I’ll continue to do what I can to do the same.


Sea Turtle on beach in Costa Rica

Sea Turtle on beach in Costa Rica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)





36 thoughts on “Cleaning Up My Corner of Costa Rica

  1. Fabulous!!!!! Wherever one lives, you can see the essence of the individual or property by its cleanliness!!!!! Thanks for being a “Guardian” of the public space cluttered by the unmindful!!!!!!

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Thank you much. I’m the champion glass picker upper. I walk on this beach every day – barefoot in the surf. In a way, self-serving…but I end up picking everything else too. Thanks for commenting. Cheers.

  2. Me and technology. Okay, I am the anonymous that just posted. Apparently I wasn’t signed into my account. But, I am now — I am and what I said before. PEACE-

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cool post. Great thing to do. And a great big shout out to Ryan!!! — Yeah, if each of us just do a little bit. PEACE-

  4. How amazing your gentle art can be, my friend! Here I was feeling blue and I read this and now the world is bright again, la! When I lived in Las Vegas I’d drive out into the desert, an ecosystem very much traumatized, and end up in a corner of the world no one had been to for a very long time and find 60 year old cigarette butts in the dirt. It seems obvious to simply clean up after one’s self, but as your excellent posting reminds us is that few people ever think about their actions. You do, and that’s what is important. Cheers! Z

    • coyotero2112 says:

      I’ve got a few new scars from beach trash, so maybe it’s a bit of self perservation also. I think I’ve created a fiction, that I’m all that nice of a guy. Living up to that would be a burden…I’ll be me again, I’m sure.

  5. jerwayne2013 says:

    I am so very proud of you & for your ecological concerns regarding keeping beaches clean & beautiful. I think if everyone just picked up after themselves it would be so wonderful..but then that is just a dream. Loved this read because it is so after my own heart to keep all areas of our country clean so everyone can enjoy the beauty of it all. thanks so much for the beautiful pictures also. Take care & carry on—good job.

  6. I was so excited to read this ! And for a good reason. This is the power of pure intentions that we so underestimate. Well done to you all who took it upon yourselves to play a role. We all need to be more open to accept and act on the little things like things. They do make all the difference 🙂
    Regards baray bhai 🙂

  7. words4jp says:

    just think, i everyone took a second to clean up their own little spot of beach – land……………just think……………………:)

  8. The Red Man sends Paw Snaps and Twirls to you and your wife for your efforts…we are now inspired to take a trash bag to West Montgomery County Park to clean up our walking area, too. Excellent.

    • coyotero2112 says:

      I have my moments, although not usually so public. Notice The Philosopher Red was nowhere to be seen. He’s a selfish, grumpy sort, not known for any altruism. Some of the broken glass was probably from him.

  9. What a beautiful thing to do. Thank you from the other side of the world.

  10. Hello, this is Angela, Ryan’s mom and I want to thank you so much for posting this wonderful story! Our whole family loved reading it and seeing the beautiful pictures. Ryan especially liked the photo of the beach, it’s very beautiful. He wants me to tell you that he really loves leatherback turtles, he says they are the fastest reptiles in the world. And he also would like me to tell you that the coconut drink sounds really yummy!
    When we found out about the Great Blogger Trash Cleanup we were really touched and Ryan wanted to participate too. So we did a local cleanup in Florida where we live and posted a couple pics to The Fishes Wishes Facebook page. Here is a link to the photo Ryan would like you to see:
    Take care and thank you to your family from ours, your kindness is appreciated. You really made his day! 🙂

    • coyotero2112 says:

      Good to hear. Living in a country that is 1/4 park or wildlife sancturay it’s easy for people here to take it for granted that the environment will always be taken care of…but that doesn’t always work. The former president here, Oscar Arias, declared “Peace” with nature, and now eco-tourism has become big business…and somebody has to watch the store.
      Tell your son he’s a wonderful young man.

  11. shimmyshark says:

    Love that sign…”We don’t want you to clean up the whole beach, we just want you to not dirty Playa Tamarindo – thank you” what fun it was.
    On my Way…

  12. cissyblue says:

    I would like to thank everyone personally who ever does this. Truly, if I could ever visit a beach, with wet sand, salt in the air, white foam and that “feeling,” I would be no less than devastated to find it trashed. Thank you for your blogs, all of you kids… It’s so Grrreat!

  13. ioniamartin says:

    Reblogged this on readful things blog and commented:
    Making a difference!

  14. ioniamartin says:

    This is amazing! Thank you for everything you do! Ryan will be so thrilled!

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