The inspiring story of a Cape Verde man who turned unsightly beach trash into a community gymnasium
Alcindo Soares created a free gym for his community using rubbish he found on the beach
Alcindo Soares grew up in Cape Verde dreaming of the day he’d become a professional athlete. But when he had no access to an indoor gym, Alcindo improvised, using garbage that washed up on the beach’s shore to build his own exercise equipment. It’s just as they say: one man’s trash is another man’s outdoor fitness center.
“Sport means everything to me. I love to train, ever since I was a kid. It really means a lot.”
A kindhearted Cape Verde man has created a gym for his local community, made entirely out of rubbish found on the beach. Alcindo Almedia Soares, 43, is passionate about keeping fit but he is also passionate about keeping the beaches of Santa Maria, Cape Verde, clean from rubbish so that tourism in the area doesn’t suffer.
The painter, who has been keen on sports since childhood, decided to repurpose the trash he found on his local beach and create an outdoor fitness centre from it. He handcrafted the gym equipment, including dumbbells and pull-up bars, so the local community had somewhere to keep fit for free.
“Sport means everything to me,” Soares revealed, in a short film by Roger Serrasqueiro. “I love to train, ever since I was a kid. It really means a lot.”
Below: the locals take advantage of their community gym.
Bottom: the original short film by Roger Serrasquiero, "Tud — Dret".
“I feel proud when I see a clean beach,”
Soares uses trash and debris that he finds on Santa Maria beach and turns it into exercise equipment. He’s created his own version of Muscle Beach with weights, pull-up bars, and a bench, all fashioned out of stuff he’s found on the shore. It looks like a real gym on the sand, and it gets a lot of action from members of the community who also use it to work out.
Like him, many of them can’t afford to work out at a more traditional gym. “The fact that a gym like this exists in Santa Maria no only for me, but for the people here, is very important,” he says.
Soares says he’s also glad to help clean up the beach in the process. “I feel proud when I see a clean beach,” he says.
Although Soares’ gym is pretty impressive-looking, he says he’s not done with it. “My dream is just to try and make the gym just a bit better,” he says. “For as long as I live, I’ll continue to use it. Train, then go swim in the ocean, and the day is complete.”
30 Creative Ways to Repurpose & Reuse Old Stuff
Repurposing is a great way to keep things out of the dump and to give your home a little décor boost. These projects are relatively easy, take little time and best of all, they allow you to completely repurpose that trash into something useful.