Ayni is a word in Quechua that means cooperation and solidarity with one another. It’s more than a word; It’s a lifestyle of the indigenous communities in the Andes in which they understood the intrinsic relationship between Nature and Humans. Whatever they took from nature they gave back. With Ayni we want to bring back this sacred relationship and work together to share a message of change with the symbolic act of building a massive mat using bottle lids. This mat will represent a community working together to create positive change in our world.
We created a video in which we explained step by step how to make the doormats out of plastic bottle lids and shared it with the community in Ecuador. We asked people to start collecting bottle lids from the beaches, streets or recycling them to make the mats. We had many of our volunteers from Mingas por el Mar actively participating in this project. They got their schools involved and many people started creating mats.
In June, I travelled to Ecuador and conducted workshops in schools, universities and different places to teach people how to make the mats. I also worked with Mingas por el Mar to organise a one day event in Guayaquil, a Fair for the Environment called Ayni 11×11, where we would showcase the big plastic mat.
It was a day of workshops, talks, yoga, music and art where people could learn about the efforts of different organisations working in the country in conservation and get informed on what we can all do to make a difference. We would like this event to be an annual thing to happen in Guayaquil and in other cities in the country.