The Azulita Project
The Azulita Project was born from the desire of several people to create a healthier and more environmentally sustainable world. Moved by the rampant plastic pollution and overuse of chemical pesticides in the Los Llanos region, the four founders—Mike, Lainie, Erwing, and Pato—joined forces in 2008 to create the Azulita Project.
Mike and Lainie were originally drawn to this part of Mexico for its surfing, but they quickly fell in love with the area and the local people. Over the course of several years, they built a home, raised their kids, and became part of the community. They have experience in and a passion for conservation, education, and grassroots community engagement.
In its initial form, the Azulita Project was a volunteer “communitarian” effort which included organic farming education programs, a recycling project, a youth soccer league, dance instruction, English classes and a community space for teaching and gathering.
In 2014, the founders reorganized the recycling portion of the project in pursuit of an effective and sustainable business model. The concept was simple: create an economic incentive for people to recycle plastic and create well-paying jobs in rural Mexico. This was the birth of the Azulita Project Asociación Civil. Our facility in Los Llanos supplies beach and ocean-bound plastic for recycled products.
In 2016, the Azuita Project 501c3 was formed to support Mexico operations and start a local inland campaign to bring awareness to marine plastic pollution and influence plastic reduction locally. We are currently leading a campaign in Flagstaff, AZ to reduce the prevalence of disposable straws and other single-use plastics in the service industry. Simultaneously, we focus on education in local school and building awareness at events throughout the community.