The Playa Potrero Mardi Gras that is typically known for beers and beads brought in over $10,000 in donations to local charities this year. One of the lucky recipients was Playa Potrero’s own Abriendo Mentes that received $2,200 for repairs and renovations of the Potrero public school.
Each year in the Playa Potrero/Flamingo/Brasilito area, the “Mardi Gras Committee” organizes a large parade and charges a fee for cars and pickup trucks to strut their stuff through the streets. This year, the raucous auto procession made it’s way from Flamingo Estates to Playa Blanca. The cars and trucks are elaborately decorated by local businesses and feature the young, the old, Gringos, and Ticos alike. More than just a fun event, the parade is meant to be an overall community building project. Abriendo Mentes entered the parade with a pickup donated by Las Catalinas Development, and decorated the truck in a wild beach theme supporting the Bandera Azul Committee.
As if parades, advertising, and beaded necklaces aren’t enough, the proceeds from the parade are donated to local non-profits. The donations-to-be are held in a fund by the committee and dispersed to local non-profits through a project proposal process. The Mardi Gras board reviews the applications and determines who is worthy and needy.
In the application process Abriendo Mentes said it “works closely with the public elementary school in Potrero in order to help aid their needs . . . .We would like to provide a lasting contribution to the school, in the form of needed repairs and renovations to the school building.” Some of the repairs they cited were: extermination of termites, roof repair, and screening of the open side wall.
Abriendo Mentes which means open minds is an ESL non-profit that aims to help the people of Potrero through education. The committee saw the need in the community for a safe, functioning public school, so plans are already under way for the construction project so a heavy rain won’t keep the kids from their education.
Abreindo Mentes is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit under the US Internal Revenue Code. It’s Web page is HERE.