Our dedicated volunteer Charles continued to work in the communities of San Antonio and Calabaza through the end of August. Within those 4 weeks, he managed to help Eusebio, the community leaders, and other community members to finish the bathroom in the temporary hostel, and start setting up the volunteer house in San Antonio. As the first occupant of the volunteer house, Charles set up a small kitchen, complete with a gas stove and cooking pots and utensils. Besides building up infrastructure, Charles focused his attention on building trusting relationships with the community members. Since this project is relatively young, it is important for the community members to trust our organization, staff, and volunteers to ensure a long lasting, successful working relationship with them. Charles did this by engaging in informal conversations outside their homes or at the dinner tables, as families were eager to have him over. He also helped in the coffee harvest, which is the primary form of income for the people. Thanks to Charles’s patient and dedicated work in building relationships with the community members, the project will have even more community input for continued success in building a community-owned and managed ecotourism in the district.
Eusebio, along with Charles and Norma, our Lima based project coordinator, also had the opportunity to travel to a successful ecolodge a few hours from our project site. There, Eusebio, took notes on infrastructure, tourist activities, food, and other considerations needed for our project back in his home community. By seeing firsthand what is necessary for an ecotourism industry, Eusebio will be able to take his new knowledge and bring it back to his community and implement it for our project.
In other news, Architects Without Borders have completed preliminary plans for the volunteer house in San Antonio. The plans were sent to RP Peru staff, which shared the plans with the community. The community excitedly approved the plans. Architects Without Borders is now finishing up the complete plans, and once sent to the community, construction can begin to complete the volunteer house by the end of this year before raining season. Once the volunteer house is complete, longer-term volunteers will be able to stay in San Antonio and continue to work directly with the community members and hold workshops on English, environment, and hospitality for both adults and children. As I personally heard from the women in San Antonio when I was there this summer, they are very eager to have volunteer stay in the community to teach them English and cooking recipes.
Thank you for your continued support of our project. This project would not be possible without your support! For more recent updates on each of our projects, please visit our website at: http://www.rainforestpartnership.org/category/news/projects