EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Tons of garbage – from plastic cups to old tires – litter the Rio Grande from El Paso to Brownsville. That’s why Rotary International members and volunteers in Texas and Mexico are planning a massive cleanup this coming Sunday.
“The last time we retrieved 16 tons of garbage and plastic and over 30 tons of brush along the river from El Paso-Juarez to Brownsville-Matamoros. This time, clubs from 12 cities are participating,” said Brisa Elawar, a Rotary International member from San Bernardino, California, and a driving force behind the binational cleanup.
Elawar called on volunteers to gather at 8:30 a.m. Sunday near the Juarez, Mexico, soccer stadium. The meeting place is “El Punto,” a monument dedicated to Pope Francis. Volunteers will access the Rio Grande levee and proceed to an area near the gigantic red “X” structure.
“It’s very hard for us to cross the bridge and do it from the United States. We clean this area from Mexico, but we need some help from the people of El Paso. If there’s any way they can help us, it’s going to be great,” said Miguel Carrillo, a Juarez Rotary Club member.
In Laredo, Texas, volunteers are being asked to gather at Espana Park, 83 Prada Machin in the Santa Rita Subdivision beginning at 7:30 a.m. Sunday.
Elawar said Rotary Clubs all along the border are busy not just with cleanups but also educating people about the importance of safeguarding their environment.
“United we can transform our future. I believe this decade will be decisive for humanity. We know about climate change, but we’re not taking responsibility. We need to take that responsibility,” she said.