Community & Environmental Projects
see below for current and past projects
Aside from providing our guests with great times of surf, fishing, and diving, we also do our part in the conservation, and sustainable development of the community in which our lodge operates. We want to promote sustainable tourism, community and environmental involvement, and all it's benefits.
As a member of the locally (Panamanian) founded Committee For Improvements Of Mariato (Comite Pro-Mejoras De Mariato), and in coordination with other like-minded organizations and individuals, we at Surfer's Garden will be facilitating, assisting with, and organizing community and environmental projects within our community in order to give back to the land, ocean, culture, and people who consistently give to us the wonderful experiences and life we have come to love.
Organizations/Comittees we currently work with, or are a part of include:
Committee For The Improvements Of Mariato
* San Diego State University 'Center For Surf Research'
* STOKE Sustainable Tourism Certification
*Surf Resource NGO
Playa Morrillo: Beach Protection and Restoration
Creation Of Local School Recycling Program
Playa Reina Beach Preservation/Cleaning
Continual Assistance With Improvement of Mariato Water Aquaduct
Mariato Primary School Recycling and Waste Program
STAGE 1: Beach Preservation/Cleaning
Before starting the implementation of recycling in the local primary school, we teamed up with the local professors from the school, the students themselves, and a few visitors including the family of Dustin Conlon (SG Owner) plus the local police squad... to do a thorough beach clean up, using the trash found as a prime example why recycling and waste management is so important, especially in such a beautiful place as this! Mold them while they are young, because the young minds of today are the future of tomorrow !!
Village of Malena, Environmental Education and Tree Planting Session
Along with the help of 3 wonderful women from the U.S. led by Pivotal Travel Yoga Retreats, we made a visit to the local primary school in the nearby village of Malena, where we hosted with the children a short 30 minute lesson on environmental importance, and the role that trees and plants play in our world. Then it was time to take 12 locally sourced fruit trees out into the school grounds and get our hands dirty by planting them so that in a year or two the students may enjoy and learn from the benefits of nature's free foods and beauty!
Mariato Central Park Renovation
April of this year we initiated and organized with the locals of Mariato, as well as the Director, Professors, and children of the local primary school, a complete renovation of the central park/plaza of Mariato. We invited a group of students from USA led by SeaState (Educational Trips Abroad) to team up with the locals and spend the afternoon giving new beauty to the town square. We gave the park a new coat of fresh tropical colored paint, repaired the swings and slide, planted trees and flowers purchased from a local source, and last but not least cleaned up the trash and installed a trash can in the park. All materials used were donated by Surfer's Garden, SeaState, and local residents/businesses. The project couldnt have gone better, even though at one point a friendly paint fight may have occurred.. and now you will find families and children alike enjoying the new parquecito!
Mariato Water Aquaduct
As of March 10th, 2016, a very long struggle to resupply the quiet pueblo of Mariato with running water came to an end. Fueled by the determination and involvement of local Panamanian community members, support and involvement from ourselves, as well as a carefully planned protest encouraging the government and Instituto de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (IDAAN) to follow through with their plans to assist with the issue, new equipment was brought to Mariato by IDAAN and installed in the pre-existing water pump station. Currently, there is a new diesel motor, as well as an electrical turbine pump, sending water to Mariato's water holding tanks which then feed the town with running water by way of natural gravity. Town is now receiving running water, but plans for a high-tech water supply and filtration system continue forward for a permanent solution for the future.
A friendly protest by form of Road Block, preventing any vehicles from leaving Mariato, or entering Mariato (only 1 road in and out) until the Instituto de Acueductos y Alcantarillados (IDAAN) arrived with the long promised equipment and supplies to solve the water outage issue in Mariato. We were honored to be invited and support this historical movement, which ended in success.
Mariato's Water Aquaduct
However, as of recently (2016), the aquaduct of Mariato and the pump station have begun once again suffering damages due to lack of strong electrical power and the diesel motor bad mechanical condition (she was old..)
Currently, the Committee For Improvements of Mariato, along with various private and governmental organizations & companies are striving to acquire and install as a temporary solution, a new diesel motor, more powerful electrical posts (220 volts) running to the pump station, and in the future: a high-tech water distribution plant that will solve Mariato's issues of water once and for all.
If you wish to know more about this current issue/project, or would like to assist/donate, please contact us.
For many years, the town of Mariato and its surrounding communities such as Playa Reina, where our lodge resides... have been relying on the provision of water via the extraction of fresh water from a crystal clear river using a small electrical pump, pvc tubing, and 2 large water storage tanks. This proved to be an issue for decades however, since the electrical pump wasnt strong enough to generate enough water power to supply the entire community, and when the power outages occurred.. water supply stopped as well! :(
It wasn't until this year that Surfer's Garden teamed up with a few locals in charge of the water system, to build and install a diesel motor which would power the extraction and supply of fresh water with more strength, consistency, and no need for electricity. The project was a success and for many months supplied Mariato with continual high pressure water.