Manuel Antonio National Park inaugurated an accessible walkway of 164 linear meters, which used plastic caps as raw material for its elaboration. In order to build this boardwalk, 30 tons of plastic were collected and processed. This new feature will allow people with reduced mobility to access the beach.
Located in Quepos canton, in the Puntarenas province, the park is considered to be one of Costa Rica’s most precious jewels, as it is home to a paradisiac beach.
Now, thanks to the ProParks Association, Manuel Antonio is more inclusive and can be enjoyed by more people. The Association built Costa Rica’s first two universally accessible trails, in Carara and Santa Rosa National Parks, and the first accessible beach in Protected Areas, in Cahuita National Park in 2019.
Rocío Echeverri, Director of the ProParks Association, said that “the campaign to collect bottle caps is a solution to reuse a material that not all recyclers receive and sadly reaches the rivers and seas. This raw material offers us the opportunity to create plastic wood that is fundamental for our project.”
The Association is a non-profit organization integrated by academics, conservationists and business people, who share a commitment to the strengthening of the National Parks of Costa Rica and its sustainability in the future. They implement projects that vary from improving park ranger skills, to developing and applying technology platforms that will enrich visitors experience and build infrastructure.
Rafael Gutiérrez, executive director of the National System of Conservation Areas, mentioned “we find in this project the perfect match between recycling and inclusion, which is a pending issue and a debt as a country to solve accessibility at all levels in our protected wild areas.”
Also, this project included donation of an amphibious chair to enable people with disabilities to enter the sea in full and safely. The chair was used by a young person with a disability, who had never been in the sea before. His family was part of the campaign to collect bottle caps and were thrilled to see him get the opportunity to have a dip in the ocean for the first time.