Dear friend who may be reading this blog. I wanted to sum up why I ended up going to El Salvador in the first place. I was traveling through the country with my fellow team of MIIS students and faculty on an experience of a lifetime. We were there not just for a warm vacation, but also to do some cutting edge research/work. We worked on a number of projects:
- Environmental Policy Group: Assessment, 5 years out, of the Local Resource Extraction Plan (PLES) implemented since March 2008 in 8 communities of the Lower Lempa River region, to determine current resources, perform socio-environmental use analysis, and establish indicators of effectiveness, with a view to providing data for strengthening conservation policy and renewing the regulations governing the Plan’s application, which expire in April 2013.
- Microcredits Group: Analysis of Asociación Mangle’s current micro-lending program and its effectiveness and weaknesses within the cooperative shrimping sector. How has it helped with production levels; what has its overall impact been? How can market access be developed or strengthened, and at the same time, how can the lending program be improved?
- Ecotourism Group: Articulate the alternative vision of Ecotourism in the communities of the western region of the Bay of Jiquilisco and determine the carrying capacity in this sector, using as a point of departure the work done by Team El Salvador 5 to help develop a local ecotourism network.
- MOU Team: Map out a 2-3 year Strategic Work Plan between Asociación Mangle and Team El Salvador, as part of drafting an updated version of the 2009 MOU with our Salvadoran partners and MIIS. This will entail preparatory work before departure, a 3-week work plan with the Mangle Board of Directors for January 2013, and the completion of a set of deliverables post J-term.
I hope you had a fantastic winter-break or simply winter season, wherever you may be in the world and I hope you enjoyed my blog entries from El Salvador and will follow my blog in the future. ¡Adios!