Yesterday, I went to a municipality in Olancho called Campamento. My friend there works in the municipality and there’s funds coming in for projects. Yes, I said it… funds: the one thing that has been lacking big time in this country since the coupe that happened over a year ago. So, I went to see a reforestation event that he was working on and to check out a recycling project that I’ll be getting involved in.
After waiting almost an hour for a jalon, or hitchhike, someone finally gave me a ride most of the way. Then, they dropped me off somewhere and I had to wait a bit for another jalon to get where I was actually going. The commute took me over 2 hours compared to what would have been 1 hour on a bus. However, I saved 40 Lempiras (~$2) and actually, a bus never even passed me while I was waiting. After meeting at the Municipality, we walked up to the protected area where the reforestation event would be and measured it with GPS to get an idea of how many trees would be needed for the planting. During this, I was being explained a few things about forestry and prescribed burns. With some of the basic concepts that I learned on the walk, Hondurans could be saving more of the forest and saving time and money on reforestation efforts (deforestation is a big problem here. One of the things it leads to is dried up water sources, which leaves communities without sufficient water).
When we finished taking GPS points, we started walking over to where the baby plants were so we could water them. On the way there, we encountered a guy walking the same path as us. I wish I had my camera because his mustache was incredible! We talked to him for a bit. He told us where he was going and what he was doing. It turns out that he had worked with several Peace Corps Volunteers in Campamento in the past. One of them would call him ‘Mr. Mustache’ (I really wish I had a picture to put to the name). This guy repeated everything to us about taking care of forests and the proper way of cutting trees down and replanting that I had just learned from Matt. It’s not often that I meet Hondurans on the street that understand how certain things should be done which would help them avoid many problems. So it was nice hearing it. He also said that a lot of the reason that things aren’t done correctly are due to politics and the government (well there’s more than just that, the reason for a lot of the problems gets complicated).
In the afternoon, we checked out the trash dump and possibilities for implementing a recycling system. If I end up working in the project, then I’ll write more about it.
Also, I’d like to add that I’m eating some delicious, home-made, peanut butter, oatmeal, and chocolate-chip cookies while writing this. Thanks Regina!