Brian Teinert, Field Project Manager Planet Drum Foundation
January 19, 2004
Up until last week, I had been the unofficial organizer of the celebration for the Fifth Anniversary of the Declaration for the Eco-City. Last Thursday I was made the official organizer. I have been inviting more and more people every week. The calendar for the eco-city celebration is set. We now have people from the Municipio coming, along with the steady attendance of the other groups who came when you were here, apart from PMRC. Their office is temporarily closed. The agency is broke, they have let almost everyone go. The problems are on a national level. We are not expecting anything from them at the moment. I will give you more info on this when I have it. This past weekend, journalists from the national TV show Ecuavisa came to Canton Sucre to do some filming of places of interest. Since I have been working with the Office of Turismo, they asked me to lead them on a tour of Maria Auxiliadora. I did the tour and an interview, which will be shown nationally in a week and a half. Hopefully, we will not get edited out. Another television crew comes this week, and I will be on again!
I am helping Christina Ruperti (who is head of the Ministerio de Turismo and Medioambiante) with organizing monthly eco-meetings in the Municipio. I have been to several meetings lately in the municipio where I have been pushing organization from within the municipio. Apparently, they are listening. On a recent radio interview, I said over the air that the biggest challenge the eco-city faces right now is in central organization. I think that many of the current issues in the Eco-city could be easily solved if all of the right heads are together on a regular basis. I told Christina that I thought the municipio needs to invite all the groups working for the city into a monthly meeting that included all parts of the municipio (education, tourism, culture, sanitation, planning etc.) and other players in ecology. There is agreement from the mayor that this needs to be done. So, when the celebration has come and gone, the people who have been organizing it, along with all stakeholders in the Eco-city, will begin meeting at least once a month. I have been asked to coordinate it, but declined, saying that it would only work if planned and organized by the office of the environment in the municipio. I have told Christian Ruperti that I would come into her office and help her any way I could, but that the invitations needed to always come from them. Other news….we are pushing for the city to recognize February as Eco-city month, instead of only calling attention to the day of the inauguration. This is mainly Vladir’s idea, but I like it.
We will go to the dairy farm on Wednesday and Saturday of this week. Lack of rain is starting to be an issue. We had some good showers the week before last, but it has not rained since my last report. I am going to have to start spending some time on watering, if the rain does not return tonight. That means the volunteers will be occupied watering Jorge Lomas, the plants we put in at the Bosque last week, and at the University. In between, I have to get the project at the Dairy Farm started. It is a busy time with planting, greenhouse maintenance, planning the celebration, and the Universidad course that starts Thursday of this week.
We did a planting at Jorge Lomas last week. Stakes were the main focus. We will come back later and add more. We also did a workday at Maria Auxiliadora. We cleaned, improved and planted the lower entrance. Several of the local guys and women helped out. It was the usual crew and some new faces showed up. They all walked the park and are happy to see it looking so green and well kept.
Greenhouse production is going very well. It is very full of green. I wish I could send you picture. The Algarrobos are coming in, along with a ton of others that were planted before you came! The compost is doing fine. I believe one side can be emptied in about a month and put into the trench. We should have no trouble creating an ample supply for next year. If we have a shortage, the municipio should help us out, according to Ivan Iguirre.
One of the volunteers has been helping Nathan at the Club Ecologia. They are painting banners for the eco-city celebration.
I have a meeting in March with the local head of the Peace Corps. This was set up by Alix, the current volunteer in Bahia. She is applying to get a Peace Corp volunteer sent to Bahia to work directly with PDF.