Three thousand people, including students, teachers and parents, seniors and other volunteers, as well as workers from the City Council and EMARP. All have been involved, since September, in the production of twenty large pieces and many smaller ones, entirely made with used plastic bottles and demijohns, which have been transformed into original Christmas ornaments that, since this Friday, decorate streets and squares in the center of Portimão.
All were involved in the project proposed by innovative, called «Creating Christmas», which was officially inaugurated yesterday with the presence of the mayor of Portimão and all councilors, even those from the opposition, the president of the Parish Council of Portimão, and many of the volunteers who shaped the parts.
Ana Filipa Cruz, Inovate's mentor and creator of this project, was visibly happy. "This is the culmination of many, many hours of work by so many people," he told the Sul Informação. «It all started in early September, when I went to present the project to schools, which immediately joined with enthusiasm, not least because the concept behind the project has to do with recycling and protecting the environment. And the parents were fantastic, they took so many bottles to schools».
And that's how, in Largo 1º de Maio, in front of the City Hall, you can see a Christmas tree and an igloo made with 1300 plastic bottles. «The labels of each of these bottles were taken by hand, one by one, by one of the volunteers», said Ana Filipa Cruz.
Speaking in numbers, the promoter of the project said that the chimneys waiting for Santa Claus were made with 4000 plastic bottles each, and gifts with 1000. «It was a lot of work, many hours, a lot of commitment from everyone, from schools to parents, passing through the homes of the elderly and all the other volunteers”, he stressed.
Right on the opening day, the igloo, which you can enter, was making the delights of kids…and grown-ups. Even the president of the Chamber Isilda Gomes insisted on entering. Inside, you can appreciate the perfection of the work and the fantastic effect that the more than a thousand bottles make, all lined up very neatly.
The igloo has an iron frame, as do all the pieces, material paid for by Santa Casa da Misericórdia, and Isilda Gomes made a point of stressing that the work was assembled "by EMARP workers, in the warehouse of this municipal company", from where yesterday afternoon he was transported in a lorry that traveled through the streets and avenues of the city to the square in front of the Town Hall.
But, between this square and Rua Infante D. Henrique, next to Chapelaria Ideal, crossing Rua Direita, Vasco da Gama, Alameda, Churchyard, Rua das Lojas, Rua da Hortinha, Largo da Mó , there are many other pieces to see: a potbellied Santa Claus, a sleigh pulled by reindeer, a giant Santa Claus boot, the house of the elves, chimneys waiting for Santa Claus, a nativity scene, large gifts, a snowman , stars, bells, and many other embellishments.
At the end of the tour that the group took, at the beginning of last night, to appreciate all the pieces, mostly illuminated - with the collaboration of the merchants -, Isilda Gomes underlined: «this project came out of the imagination of a Portimonense, Ana Filipa, and from the hands of hundreds and hundreds of other people from Portimo. When the project was presented to me, I never imagined it would be like this!».
"I don't know if we ever had a project in Portimão that mobilized so many people," added the mayor. "This shows that, without money, but with everyone's good will, this is how we can do things."
For the year, Isilda Gomes wished that the project could continue, attracting more volunteers and more partners. Holding in her hand the drawings of the twenty pieces she conceived and which were completed, Ana Filipa Cruz was immediately interested in continuing. "For the year we will start earlier", guaranteed, for her part, the president of the Chamber.
The Create Christmas 2014 project is an initiative promoted by Inovarte and aims to raise awareness in the local community about the importance of recycling, through the collection of used plastic bottles and demijohns, used for the construction of giant-sized pieces that now decorate some public spaces in the municipality, counting on the collaboration of the people from Portimo.
Institutional support: Portimão City Council, Parish Councils of Portimão, Mexilhoeira Grande and Alvor, Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Portimão and EMARP;
Sponsors: Bricomarché, Glória & Silvestre and ZEMBE-Technical and Commercial Society.