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Yes Folks, Public Toilets For Dogs Have Arrived

Yes Folks, Public Toilets For Dogs Have Arrived

Doggy business stinking up sidewalks is a very real problem in towns and cities around the world. Different attempts to clean up include raising fines, public leaflets or even a project in Buenos Aires to give green collars to the dogs whose owners scoop their poop.

So inevitably it would have to come to this: public toilets for dogs.

This pilot project is the masterpiece of El Vendrell, a city in the Catalonia region of Spain. The patented installation includes a location monitor, as well as a water trough. All the elements are connected to the sewers which means unlike other "dog facilities," this one does not require constant maintenance, said the council in a statement.

Enric Girona, the engineer behind the project, explained that the system was designed based on a behavioral study of dogs that was started in 2005. His company, EG Estudis i Projectes, which has patented its design, presented the concept to the council free of charge, and will offer it free to other municipalities as well. "If this test works, we will put it in other parts of town," said the Councilor in charge of the Environment and Sustainability.

El Vendrell, a town of 36,000, takes proper pooch behavior very seriously, with fines of up to 750 euros for owners who don't clean up after their dogs. Now, the dogs can practically take care of themselves.

Photo: El Vendrell City Council

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Migrant Lives

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

An orchid rehabilitation project is turning a small Mexican community into a tourist magnet — and attracting far-flung locals back to their hometown.

They Migrated From Chiapas When Opportunities Dried Up, Orchids Brought Them Home

Marcos Aguilar Pérez takes care of orchids rescued from the rainforest in his backyard in Santa Rita Las Flores, Mapastepec, Chiapas, Mexico.

Adriana Alcázar González/GPJ Mexico
Adriana Alcázar González

MAPASTEPEC — Sweat cascades down Candelaria Salas Gómez’s forehead as she separates the bulbs of one of the orchids she and the other members of the Santa Rita Las Flores Community Ecotourism group have rescued from the rainforest. The group houses and protects over 1,000 orchids recovered from El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, in the southeastern Mexican state of Chiapas, after powerful storms.

“When the storms and heavy rains end, we climb to the vicinity of the mountains and collect the orchids that have fallen from the trees. We bring them to Santa Rita, care for them, and build their strength to reintegrate them into the reserve later,” says Salas Gómez, 32, as she attaches an orchid to a clay base to help it recover.

Like magnets, the orchids of Santa Rita have exerted a pull on those who have migrated from the area due to lack of opportunity. After years away from home, Salas Gómez was one of those who returned, attracted by the community venture to rescue these flowers and exhibit them as a tourist attraction, which provides residents with an adequate income.

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