Wärtsilä is proud to have a long-standing presence on the Caribbean island of Curacao, with over 20 years of service activity in the region. A Wärtsilä team of field service engineers – led by Kees Aan de Wiel and Héctor Cabrera, currently supporting the planned maintenance and overhauls in a power plant on the island, wanted to give back to the local community beyond their daily work routines. From this idea, came the initiative to organize a beach clean-up.
Galabin Stoyanov, Wärtsilä Service Engineer, coordinated the team’s efforts together with Sabine Berendse, founder of Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao and Green Phoenix, two local organizations that focus on the protection of sea turtles and the preservation of the natural ecosystems in Curacao and other Caribbean islands. Beach clean-ups are an important and essential activity for these organizations, since sea turtles need clean, sandy beaches to successfully nest. To help with recruiting more volunteers to support the clean-up, the group also collaborated with JCI IOBA of Curacao, which is active in empowering young individuals to create positive change in their local communities.
After much collaboration and planning, the beach clean-up commenced on Sunday, September 6, 2020, on the San Pedro beach, well-known for its sea turtle population. The group of over 20 volunteers from the 4 organizations walked along the shoreline, collecting marine debris and trash. Spending nearly 3 hours of picking up items in the hot summer sun, the volunteers successfully collected over 390 kg of ocean plastic.
“We are proud of the leadership and positive change that our colleagues from Wärtsilä initiated and drove to make possible for the local community in Curacao. It’s a fine example of what it means to be a Doer in Wärtsilä. This is what we all strive for in our commitment to the local regions we serve,” comments Marc Tarbox, Managing Director for Wärtsilä Caribbean.
Thank you to our Wärtsilä team of volunteers: Galabin Stoyanov, Jose Garcia, Hector Cabrera, Cornelis Aan de Wiel and Jan-Peter Fors.