Brechin_referrals

Subject Thanks for referrals on Bz project
From Pat Coyle

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Frank,

Thank you for the referral to Osmany Salas and the Villorias.

Thank you all for your willingness to take a look at the draft materials for this project (http://belizeopensource.jot.com but due to move to belizeopensource.org).

I really appreciate your suggestions and any other contacts you might suggest.

Osmany, thanks for forwarding your CV. Your experience, level of responsibility, and contacts throughout Belize are very impressive.

I am forwarding the materials I sent you, Frank. They include the emails below and the attached response to Mary Kimball, Director, http://www.landbasedlearning.org/, about her suggestions to clarify the proposal. Dates in the attachment schedule need to be updated since progress has been slower than I had projected.

Since then I have also drafted the purposes section of the Bylaws for incorporation as a nonprofit corporation in California and have attached them as well.

I have also included an email response (see below) from Edilberto Romero, Executive Director of Programme for Belize. Since he was born and grew up in August Pine Ridge, I was very moved by his thoughtful comments.

I am aware these materials, need to be consolidated and improved. However, I am still working full time here in Livermore, California, so I fit this in on nights and weekends.

Again, I really appreciate your help.

Thanks,

Patrick Coyle

Osmany Salas wrote: Dear Pat,

FYI, my CV (including contact details) is attached.

Regards,

Osmany Salas

----------------------------------
BelNaRM Strategies
19 Guadalupe Street
Orange Walk Town
BELIZE
Tel: 501.602.2535
-----------------------------------
At 9:34 AM -0700 1/12/06, Frank T. Brechin wrote:
Dear Pat,

You will find the above-mentioned people knowledgeable and helpful.

Both Osmany and the Villorias are highly experienced in your program area of interest. They are well connected throughout Belize. I have spoken to both parties, very briefly sketching out your basic idea to them. They have graciously agreed to comment upon, suggest ideas or additional contacts and/or lend assistance to your proposed project. Please email them the same material you have sent to me for background. Then, I suggest you contact them directly to follow-up for their possible respective input on managing to best advantage the property you have available.

I hope the New Year brings bright prospects for your project in this country.

Kindest, Frank.

Frank T Brechin
P. O. Box 214
Corozal Town
Belize, Central America
Phone + 501 423 1083
Mobile + 501 602 8978

Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 16:38:51 -0800
To: Frank Brechin
From: Pat Coyle
Subject: follow up on Bz project
Cc: Eric Coleman , "Natalio" , Thomas Tillett , Enrique Rivas , CurrentDraft+wikisecret@belizeopensource.jot.com
Bcc:
X-Attachments: :WD250:459842:opnsrc_cmnt_resp_11.doc:

Frank,

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me about the Belize project I am proposing.

I really appreciate your willingness to take a look at the initial materials I have at http://belizeopensource.jot.com

I invited you to participate so you can edit, comment, email materials to the pages, etc.

Thanks also for your willingness to refer me to Thara Gamero Blanco, Trees for the Future Program Belize Coordinator, and others who might be interested.

Your many years of experience with CARE and in Belize will be extremely helpful. The property is about 40 miles from your location in Consejo.

Manuel and Elda Soliz in August Pine Ridge are helping me. They can be reached at 323-3010. They can show you or others the property. Natalio Soliz, has email and can be reached at "Natalio" .

Eric Coleman is also assisting me. He is in Belize City and can be reached at 203-2848.

We just arranged to get another 100 of Mr. Sylvestre's improved selected cashew seedlings. With the 50 we obtained in August, this will give us 150 for an initial planting.

We have discussed cashews and other tree and crop options with Thomas Tillett, Ministry of Agriculture, who visited the site to assess the initial cashew trees planted in '77.

Enrique Rivas, formerly with Ministry of Agriculture and now Director and manager of reforestation at the Bante's NGO for bird rehabilitation in Cayo, visited the site and discussed overall approaches to the use of the property.

I look forward to your participation.

Thanks,
Pat

Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2005 11:16:04 -0700
To: Carl Lenox
From: Pat Coyle
Subject: Thanks; Re: interested
Cc: Charlie Sellers, Kathy Voth , "Mary Kimball" ,CurrentDraft+wikisecret@belizeopensource.jot.com
Bcc:
X-Attachments: :WD250:459842:opnsrc_cmnt_resp_11.doc:

Thanks Carl.

(Charlie I am copying you too, since I really enjoyed the brief discussion with you and Carl after the EWB AT kickoff.
Kathy, http://www.livestockforlandscapes.com , I am copying you to provide a quick update on where we are.)

Carl, I appreciated your suggestions about permaculture and the potential applicability of teaching/internship models at the property.

I also came across the Trees for the Future and talked briefly with Dave Deppner at their MD headquarters about my project and their work described at http://www.treesftf.org/projects/belize.htm

I'm trying to contact their folks in Belize as well.

Please consider how you can engage, participate, and provide leadership for this project.

I am attaching a response to Mary Kimball, Director, http://www.landbasedlearning.org/, about her suggestions to clarify the proposal. She is very busy and may not be able to provide feedback for a while. I'd appreciate any feedback you guys might offer. Then I, or we, do need to get the proposal cleaned up along lines Charlie suggested.

I see it as a critical part of the plan/solution to be able to have it run with a management structure that does not require my presence, so I am seeking ideas on how to put together a team to address this.

I think the the adjacent communities have many unmet needs that are opportunities for the kinds of projects that might be of interest to EWB or groups.

As with the permaculture teaching/internship model, you may see other opportunities where this could fit into a class or independent study project as a testbed for planning, design, options evaluation, implementation, field work, reporting results, etc. Additionally, during down time there is all of Belize to jump off to and enjoy.

My current priorities are getting people lined up who want to participate and setting it up as a non-profit in the states and a NGO in Belize.

Another near-term priority is a an approach to the materials (e,g., thatch roof, Mennonite wood construction, or concrete block) and a floor plan for the small toilet/shower/ mudroom/visitor building to
be hooked up to the septic system (and grey water system).

Please give it some thought and let me know if you have suggestions on that or anything else about the the whole thing.

Think about the next thing you would build after a caretaker's thatched hut and sheep/goat shelter, in terms of where you would stay if you visited, or the next building after that., etc.

If there are people you think we should contact, please invite them in. I think you have access to do so and to edit the site. Let me know if you don't. This wiki tool is new to me.

Thanks,

Pat

Hi Pat,

I met you at the EWB-SF Appropriate Technology meeting. I'd like to be involved. We spoke a bit about permaculture and how these concepts could apply. Also there's a teaching / internship model associated with permaculture projects that fits in pretty well with your "lend a hand" concept.

Anyway I'd like to keep in touch.

Thanks,

Carl

Delivered-To: pat@coyles.com
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 20:43:39 +0000
From: "Pat Coyle"
To: pfbel@btl.net
Cc: CurrentDraft+wikisecret@belizeopensource.jot.com
Subject: Thanks for follow up RE: brainstorming: 40 acre property in Belize

Dear Mr. Edilberto Romero:

Eddie, Thanks you for the thoughtful response.

You make many good points that we will take into consideration.

We would like very much to coordinate with you and others, to ensure our activities in the community benefit from your expertise and valuable experience.

I will spend more time going over your points and be back in touch.

Thanks again,
Pat

------- Original Message -------
On 11/29/2005 7:53 PM wrote:
Dear Mr. Pat Coyle:

Thanks for copying Programme for Belize on your email to Ruth and Jodie. Please note that Wilber Sabido is no longer with Programme for Belize. He has moved to greener pastures, and is now the Chief Forest Officer, at the Forest Department, in the Ministry of Natural Resources. Dareece Chuc is now our Acting Technical Coordinator.

I am the Executive Director of Programme for Belize and since I was born and grew at August Pine Ridge, I took a moment to look at your proposal.

The huge issue at August Pine Ridge is the lack of opportunity for work and viable businesses and industries. The low level of education limits the people at the chances of getting skilled jobs and entrepreneurial initiatives. Your Conceptual Project seems to address this and to look at sustainable development and "care for the environment". "In Principle" Programme for Belize believes the concept is a good idea.

I do not agree with Ruth's joke that there are many NGO's but I do agree that sometimes they get into each others way. However, this only happens when there is no coordinated effort, due to their desperate nature of, the communities take advantage, and when some organizations try to re-invent the wheel. In fact, the situation is quite the opposite in the area of August Pine Ridge. There is practically no NGO activity addressing the needs of the area.

Programme for Belize has August Pine Ridge as a stakeholder due to its relation to Rio Bravo and the need to keep them friendly and supportive of Rio Bravo as a protected area. Although, we have done a lot on the past, and have had successes and failures, there is very little we are presently doing at August Pine Ridge. This has to do more with the availability of funding rather than interest on our part.

That said, I would like to state that some of the components of the project are similar to the work of Programme for Belize in certain areas: Sustainable Development, Ecotourism, Education, promoting the sustainable socie-economic development of the communities. We also have a freshwater program, but nothing on sanitation, health and nutrition program. Your project, apparently, is also interested in looking at sanitation, health,etc. and sheep and goat operation although it does not elaborate on the former aspects. Programme for Belize has teamed up in the past with the Belize Family Life Association on a community population and environment project which aimed at promoting reproductive health and natural resource management. It was a very successful project but too short as the funding was just available for one year.

Sustainable development is something Programme for Belize has been experimenting over the past years and we have done a lot of progress and have gathered a wealth of experience and lessons. Ecotourism is now covering 50% of our operations cost and has met both of our sustinability criteria: 1.) It must leave the biodiversity and environmental service of the forest unaltered; and 2.) It must be economically feasible. This is not always easy to obtain as there is always a certain level of trade-off between each other. We have also made significant progress on our sustainable timber extraction and we have experimented on many other activities.

There are also organizations who have experience on some of the activities being proposed in your project:

4-H on sheep, not sure about goats.

The Ministry of Agriculture, sheep (I think they are no longer doing it and I do not know the reason why).

Help for Progress on the community development, gender and agriculture.

I think the ecotourism aspect is a good one as we have proven it to be viable but it needs a minimum number of beds to be feasible. It is unfortunately out of the reach of the community as there are a number of factors required for it to be successful:

1. The initial finance. High and not easily accessible by the community.
2. Good quality facilities that can only come if you have the finance.
3. Good quality services. can easily be obtained with training.
4. Good management skills and bookkeeping. Can be developed but it is a little more difficult and takes more time and investment.
5. Good market. This is key to success as having the previous ones alone those not guarantee success.

In general, there are a lot of things that can be produced in the August Pine Ridge area and indeed has been done in the past. When it comes to agriculture the people from the area are the best. Besides, finance, I think the largest limiting factor has been marketing. That is one of the main reason why people are still growing sugarcane eventhough its feasibility is very low and prizes are going lower (expected to decrease by 17% in 2006 and 2007). However, it provides a certain level of autoemployment. The people from the area has successfully produced peanuts, rice, beans, corn, various vegetables, but has not been successful business-
wise mostly because of the lack of market availability. Their most recent lost has been in soybean production. My point here is that the feasibility study is required for every aspect of the project since the production is possible.

Sheep and goat has been raised by some people of August Pine Ridge successfully in terms of production. However, I think it has not picked up because of the limited market availability. A market study on this would be worthwhile if you are serious about getting into sheep and goat as a sustainable business operation. I think that is the first thing that has to be looked on and a feasibility analysis of the operation.

The aquaculture is a good one although I must mention that Programme for Belize does not support Tilapia farming since it is an exotic invasive species and we do not know yet the extent of its impact (if any) on the fresh waters and native species of Belize. We would prefer to see aquaculture of native species (which has been overfished in the local waters) and for which there is a market.

Another activity that I have mentioned to some of the area representatives is furniture or value-added timber products. Programme for Belize is producung FSC Certified Sustainable Timber and is ineterested in promoting certified timber and value added timber products. It would be good for Programme for Belize and for the long-term protection of Rio Bravo if a community like August Pine Ridge can develop the skills, and a business in certified furniture and timber products using certified timber from Rio Bravo. Currently, however, Programme for Belize does not have the finance to get the community started on this. A project like yours can take advantage of this opportunity. At this time, Programme for Belize has as an agreement to sell its certified lumber to three sawmills but reserves the right to retain production beyond estimated levels and to repurchase part of it for value-added processing and/or marketing. There are some people from August Pine Ridge that are already doing furnitures. I believe the number of people involved in furniture and value added timber products can be increased with training in a center like the one you are proposing.

We have to field stations. La Milpa Field Station is used for ecotourism, education, non-extractive research and archaeological research and is a successful project. The Hill Bank Field Station is the base for forestry reserach, protection activities and education. The Hill Bank ecotourims facilities are underutilized and it is not generating excess revenues but providing essential services for the protection and management of Rio Bravo. It is expensive to run a field station. Therefore it is important to carry a feasibility study or alternatively to invest in an already existing field stations, like ours, for training.

Electricity and fuel is very expensive here in Belize. It would be wise to consider the use of a solar system or a dual system when the area get to cloudy.
In closing, I would like to say that while we think the concept is good in principle, it needs a lot more work in terms of assessing market and the feasibility of the project if what you are thinking is to have a sustainable running operation. If that is not what you are thinking then you may not need to go through all of that but I also believe it is no use in training people in an operation of which they will not make money to get out of poverty when they go on their own to implement the skills they have learned.

Own our part, Programme for Belize, while it supports the project in principle, can only get invloved if its cost of participation is covered. Unfortunately, we do not count with surplus funds to get involved into additionaly activities at the moment although we have expertise and valuable experience that can be useful to your project.

Best Wishes,
Eddie.

25 Nov 2005, at 12:26, Pat Coyle wrote:

Ruth and Jodie,

Sorry about the delay in getting back to you. Thanks for both of your prompt replies expressing your interest. I am working full time, so attending to this initiative is a nights and weekends effort and my replies are not always as prompt as I would like.

I really appreciate your willingness to take a look at the initial materials I have at http://belizeopensource.jot.com

Ruth, I was so struck by your talk at the Seattle EWB session and our brief chat at break. Your family's many years of working in Belize, your ongoing visits taking students there, your experience in Jamaica and Africa, will be extremely helpful.

I'd love for you to get involved in this project. I think you could be a major player in making it work as an ongoing and sustainable initiative. When you spoke, I was reminded again about the importance of the skills you bring to bear in community mobilization, organizing. and working with the community to get their involvement and commitment. Since you are planning ongoing work in Belize, it seems almost too good to be true.

Jodie, you have so many things to contribute. I'd love for you to get involved. I was struck by the following points in your email:

Training at Seattle University and University Of Washington's Advance Standing Master of Social Work Program with emphasis this year on local community development
Emphasis on the importance of community building via collaborative efforts to improve the well-being of local Belizeans with local support
Travel-based experience, in Belize and Guatemala, that engaging local communities in the region you want to work or build in is vital to the success of your efforts - and the just and right thing to do
Interest in the ideas about planting and stocking (sheep) as a way to support local agri-business vs profit for the land owner without regard for native populations
Interest to become involved with an organization or project where the mission really is about sustainable community development with a preference for Belize or Guatemala
Interest in gaining practical experience working internationally
Want to be involved with the project
Currently working on a paper in Globalization course that is analyzing the dynamics of the cruise line industry and the impacts on Belize City's local economy
Open to be involved in a dialog with others about this

Manuel and Elda Soliz in August Pine Ridge are helping me. I spoke with Elda and let her know you travel to Belize and may contact her. They can be reached at 323-3010. They can show you or others the property. Natalio Soliz, Manuel's nephew, has email and can be reached at Natalio Soliz .

Another good contact is Mrs. Blanca Esquival, Women's Group Arts and Crafts Friends of Lamanai Gift Shop (at the lamanai riuns site). She and Elda are friends and she has been leading this initiative for women for some years. Her numbers are: 309-1015, 603-7243, and 606-7244.

Eric Coleman is also assisting me. He is in Belize City and can be reached at 203-2848. We just arranged to get another 100 of Mr. Sylvestre's improved selected cashew seedlings. With the 50 we obtained in August, this will give us 150 for an initial planting.

We have discussed cashews and other tree and crop options with Thomas Tillett, Ministry of Agriculture, who visited the site to assess the initial cashew trees planted in '77.

Enrique Rivas, formerly with Ministry of Agriculture and now Director and manager of reforestation at the Bante's NGO for bird rehabilitation in Cayo, visited the site and discussed overall approaches to the use of the property.

Mr. Sabido, with Programme for Belize, http://www.pfbelize.org/, spoke with me about the their agro-reforestation project in San Lazaro, about 10miles from the property. I was very impressed with the people I talked with there during my August visit. He suggested formation of a registered community group as a vehicle for potential collaboration with government or NGO programs such as theirs. He also indicated fencing the property and getting signs up is a way to begin to establish a presence.

Mr. Haylock, also with Programme for Belize, was very helpful in arranging for permission for us to drive from their facilities at La Milpa, through Gallon Jug, and Yalbac during our August '05 visit, The stay at La Milpa and the drive through that part of Belize was a high point in our visit. I have also discussed the project with him briefly.

I also came across the Trees for the Future and talked briefly with Dave Deppner at their MD, US, headquarters about the project and their work described at http://www.treesftf.org/projects/belize.htm

I reached Frank Brechin in Belize who has volunteered for them. He also has many years of experience with CARE outside, and for last 19 years, in Belize. He was very helpful and offered to refer me to Thara Gamero Blanco, Trees for the Future Program Belize Coordinator, and others who might be interested.

At the wiki site, http://belizeopensource.jot.com/CurrentDraft , the attachments to the messages include a response to Mary Kimball, Director, http://www.landbasedlearning.org/, about her suggestions to clarify the proposal. She is very busy and may not be able to provide feedback for a while. So I'd appreciate any feedback you might offer. Then the proposal needs to be cleaned up. The tasks showing as complete by the end of November need to be pushed out.

I see it as a critical part of the plan/solution to be able to have it run with a management structure that does not require my presence, so I am seeking ideas on how to put together a team to address this.

I think the the adjacent communities have many unmet needs that are opportunities for the kinds of projects that might be of interest to a number of groups.

My current priorities include getting people lined up who want to participate and setting it up as a non-profit in the states and a NGO in Belize.

Ruth, at Seattle, you joked that Belize has so many NGOs doing things there that they sometimes get in each other's way. Do you think there are alternative approaches we should consider? Otherwise getting the documents drafted to form both entities is high on my priority list.

Please give it some thought and weigh in if you have suggestions on that or anything else.

If there are people you think we should contact, please invite them in. I think you have access to do so and to edit the site. Let me know if you don't. This wiki tool is new to me.

Thanks,
Pat
Edilberto Romero
Executive Director

Programme for Belize, P.O. Box 749, #1 Eyre Street, Belize City, Belize
Central America. Tel: 501-227-5616, Fax: 501-227-5635
e-mail: pfbel@btl.net
Visit our website at: http://www.pfbelize.org

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