Yaira working to build a tree nursery.
Yaira Allois Pino, our Program Officer for Panama, is from Santiago de Veraguas, Panama. She has experience coordinating watershed management programs in Panama and has also worked as a facilitator of Rural Participatory Diagnoses used for Municipal Development Plans. She has studied industrial engineering and is working on her thesis for a Master’s in environmental management. We asked Yaira some questions about her work and she was eager to share!
EcoLogic: When you visit our projects, what emotions do you experience?
Yaira: I really like to visit the communities and the people are very happy when we come which makes me feel good. I do feel sad at times when I hear stories of hardship from community members. For example, in Punta Alegre, they told me they went a month without electricity because the plant damaged a piece of equipment that cost a lot to repair. But, I feel pride when things go well and when people are excited to discuss with me ways in which I can help.
E: During the last year, what project or success has made you the most proud?
Y: I loved the construction of latrines because it has a big impact and gives EcoLogic credibility in the communities.
E: Who is one person in the community that inspires you and why?
Y: Ovina Hurtado, from Punta Alegre, inspires me. She’s a fighter, a retired teacher, over 60, and a leader in Punta Alegre. Although she sometimes gets discouraged with the problems in the community, she never stops trying to make a difference. She always keeps on going!
E: Why do you work for EcoLogic?
Y: It’s been a few years since I started working in the environmental field and with EcoLogic. It is very important to me because with EcoLogic, I have the opportunity to work with the communities and help teach them to protect their resources. I feel like I can make a difference in their lives and that’s why I’m committed to my work.
E: What is a recent highlight from our work?
Y: We are working on a lot of things but something I am personally excited about is working towards declaring the Gulf a protected area by the Panamanian government. I am also excited about the capacity building workshops for fisherfolk.
If you have any questions you would like to ask Yaira, please respond to this email and we will get them answered!