“I feel proud when I see Santa Maria’s clean beach,” Soares says in a video by Great Big Story. “It’s important to keep it clean. You shouldn’t just throw trash on the sand.”
Rather than tossing this trash into a landfill, this construction worker from Cape Verde saw a way to solve two problems at one. Since Santa Maria lacked a place where the local community could exercise, Soares used what he found on the beaches to build a public gym.
Normal gyms can be expensive. The cost of the equipment alone quickly adds up. Instead, this gym is made from discarded wooden posts, metal pipes, and sand. The final result is a gym that resembles a standard gym that can support all the usual forms of exercise and training, but with a unique identity. Now people in the area have a place to work out free of charge for as long as they like.
“There’s nature, sun, the beach, fresh air,” Soares continues. “I think it’s much better.”
Moreover, with all the trash he finds on the beaches, the gym is able to grow and expand. “My dream is to try and make the gym just a bit better,” says Soares. “For as long as I live I’ll continue to use it. Train, then go swim in the ocean, and the day is complete.”