Article Index

Competition - RecicleARTE

The RecicleARTE contest took place at the end of August 2010 in Puerto Lopez to coincide with the whale watching season. For the competition, the project initially had funding for only one prize winner, however, in the process more participants were becoming involved, mainly children and youth groups. Thus, creating a youth category in the competition would allow to recognize as well the creativity of children. For this, we requested a contribution from the Mundus maris Initiative.

We could get some funding from Mundus maris for children who were involved. This way also they were able to get recognition for their active involvement. The prize for both categories, it was a contribution to any activities that promote the development of the participants.

The contest was oriented primarily towards groups of artisans and recyclers, but individual artists could also participate. There were two categories: artisans and youth. Click here for the conditions of the competition (in Spanish).

Category Craftsmen

Salangome Artisan Group. This is a group of 14 artisans who make handicrafts from various materials; the group includes people living within the Machalilla National Park area and craftsmen living in Puerto Lopez.


The Group created a whale by recycling metal cans, nylon thread from fishing activities, bottle caps and other materials (Photos above: Asociación Salangome).

Alfredo Rocha, Recycler. Alfredo Rocha is dedicated to recycling as a way of life. His home, boat-shaped, is constructed almost entirely of recycled materials. He and his wife are recyclers, who recover any material in the landfill in Puerto Lopez.

(Photos Nuria Estrella Santos)

The sculpture of Alfred was a whale built with a new material created by himself on the basis of flex foam. The following materials were also (re)used in this sculpture: plastic bottles, wire, a float of a fishing net, balls from deodorant bottles to create the eyes of the whale. The base of a fan served to support the sculpture.

Whale Sanctuary Association (Asociación Santuario de Ballenas).



This is a tourism association. One of its members, Remigio Fuentes, created a sculpture of a whale made from a tire found on the beach. Remigio's representation was a whale tangled in nets and debris, and the cries of whales for their survival.

Photos Nuria Estrella Santos


Youth Category

Jaime Roldos School and the Nature and Art Foundation. The Jaime Roldos School is a school located in the Barrio San Pedro, the neighborhood where most of the fishers of Puerto López live. The school has 120 children in the different courses. The sculpture of the school was supported by the Nature and Art Foundation, by Laura Hester and an English artist, Lu Johnson. The process of creating the sculpture of a whale was a mixture of a fun exercise, education and conservation. Each class of the school participated in sculpture. The work was divided up organisationally as follows: first picking up trash from the beach, then preparing the materials and ultimately helping to create the sculpture. In the whale tail sculpture lots of waste was used, such as plastic bottles, caps, nets, and wheels. All the garbage was collected on the beach (Photos courtesy Laura Hester).

The first mounting of the whale fluke on the greens overseeing the sea was quite evocative.

Ecoclub of Children Guardians of Nature (Ecoclub de Niños Cuidadores de la Naturaleza). The Ecoclub is a local initiative supported by a group of young biologists and ecologists, which aims to promote conservation and education, mainly of marine life. The Ecoclub attracts children with an interest in learning about and caring for nature. Its activities are regularly attended by about 12 to 14 children aged between 7 and 14 years. These children, like the pupils of the Jaime Roldos School, are mainly children of local fishermen. This activity was supported by Micaela Peña and Gabriela Anhalzer.

The children collected the rubbish from the beach and created a sculpture in the shape of a whale tail using flat rubber.

The whale is sinking in a sea painted with traces of plastic wrap.

Bottle caps and foam flex were also used.