Feb 1, 2009 11:43 AM

Spiral Island

We went for a trip around Isla Mujeres one day, and caught a glimpse of this sign on our way to the "dolphinarium"

I have heard about this place before, on Ripleys Believe it or not and always wanted to know more..

We were invited to come visit Spiral Island II by Richie Sowa, the man behind the idea and building of this amazing island.

In Mexico, they have no return policy on plastic bottles, (in Norway, when you buy a beverage, you have to pay an extra "fee" for the bottle.. This fee is given back to you when you give the empty bottle back. A good way to not waste too many bottles, and even a source of income for some of the people of the streets of Norway ) so most empty bottles end up in a landfill somewhere and Richie started out in 1998 to collect bottles to build a small island.. He fills plastic nets with the empty bottles, then pushes them under plywood to make the island float. Then he uses the roots of different kinds of plants and mangroves to connect with the bags of bottles, and this is what is holding the island together. His first project took off, volunteers and investors helped him with the necessary funds to build his island even bigger, and it was at some almost 250 000 bottles big! But sadly it was ruined by a hurricane in 2005..

He started on a new island again in 2007/2008 and is still going strong!

The island is over 100 000 bottles big , has 2 storeys, several pools, own water container, rain collector, solar oven, plants, animals, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen
and living room!

If you want to experience something really different on Isla Mujeres, i suggest you visit him on his amazing Spiral Island II!
Richie is a talented singer/artist/carpenter, and tries to change how the world thinks about waste, and recycling.

He accepts visitors if he is not too busy working, and I suggest giving a little donation if you visit.

If you want to help out, bring a bag of empty bottles, or start collecting now, and share with him when you have a bunch!
In fact, if you run a business, why not save your plastic bottles for him? It`s good for the environment, you know! :)

He also has a great website that explains his project in detail, and you can even volunteer to help out if you`d like! www.spiralislanders.com

Riche ended our amazing tour with a nice song and a good Jamaica/Tamarindo drink, and before we took off, the Spiral Handshake™

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