Parents in the village of San Pedro, Columbia in the Toledo District of Southern Belize have initialed a project to raise funds to support extracurricular activities for their children while recycling produce bags. The Columbia Kids Project takes heavy-duty bags, originally used for large quantities of rice brands, rabbit feed and even dog food, and fashions them into unique market bags that are not only functional but colorfully portray the Belizean culture.
The village is made up of many artisans: weavers, stone carvers, artists and chocolate makers! Many artists and artisans have joined the project and a percentage of their sales go towards helping the kids project. Every item is tagged, and each tag informs exactly how much money paid contributes to the project. These strong and pretty bags sell for $5, with $2 going directly to the person who sews it, $2 directly towards the projects, .75 cents for materials and transport and .25 cents to the student who brings in the original bag.
The San Pedro Columbia Roman Catholic School receives some of the lowest school fees in Belize, which means that the school cannot afford to take children on outings or have ‘special occasion days.’ This project funds educational trips, with a focus on fun as well as learning. It also helps the school to improve children’s welfare by building up libraries, playgrounds and other essentials.
Currently the bags are available for purchase through their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Columbia-Kids-Project where they post new inventory as it becomes available. They soon hope to have the bags available at select businesses as well. For more information please message them through their Facebook page.