As EcoLogic is always aiming to improve how we do what we do and how we communicate it with you, we have been exploring ways we can better harness photography and the tales behind them to document stories of success that truly capture the essence of our work. So naturally, we thought to talk to Antonio Reyes Montejo first. Antonio is Field Technician for our projects in Ixcán, Guatemala, an Agronomist who also happens to have a knack for photography. At EcoLogic we greatly value the perspectives of our staff in the region and are delighted to be able to share with you Antonio’s point of view on the incredible work he carries out each day.
Frontera entre los municipios de Ixcán, Chajul y Uspantán / The border between the municipalities of Ixcán, Chajul y Uspantán
Below, we have included an interview with Antonio as well as some of his truly impressive Instagram photos from Ixcán, Guatemala—so you get a feel for the scenery around the Ixcán region and recent happenings in our projects. Each photo also includes a descriptive caption explaining why these photos are important to him—both in general, and in terms of development and conservation.
See Antonio’s moving photography and read about his unique perspective on nature >>
By Annie Spaulding, EcoLogic intern and student in Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment Master’s in Environmental Management program. Annie has interned with EcoLogic since moving to Guatemala in January 2016. She has extensive experience in community-based development and is an expert in composting, having previously served as Chief Administrative Officer/Development Officer for the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF).
Annie on her way to visit Grande Que’hue’che–a community in Livingston, Guatemala.
Traditional payment for ecosystem services (PES) models are built around the concept of a monetary value assigned to a specific service, good, or product provided by the natural environment to the benefit of people—for example, water resources, carbon stored in biomass, and forest products. Through a PES scheme, communities or individuals receive monetary payment in exchange for conserving the ecosystems providing the services. It is a win-win with benefits for both the people who benefit from the service (e.g. the people downstream who are supplied with drinking water) and those who ensure provision of the service (e.g. the rural people who conserve the natural water source). PES is centered around a monetary value agreed upon by both sides. As such, it is a popular model receiving global attention among world leaders, policy makers, conservation organizations, and communities.
Read more about Annie’s research on economic incentives and cultural values >>
In 2013, EcoLogic held a competition among its partner organizations, with the goal of recognizing community-led innovation with a $10,000 prize. Our Honduran partner, the Alliance of Municipalities of Central Atlántida (MAMUCA), was selected as the winner of the EcoLogic Innovation Award and they invested the funds to pilot their recycling exchange shop concept.
Students collecting recyclables around a town in Atlántida, Honduras
“Now, two years later, we are elated that the shops continue to grow, all on their own. This is a case that truly demonstrates the potential of locally-sourced, locally-led innovation: MAMUCA had the idea, EcoLogic added enough financial support to get the wheels turning, and community members take it from there!”
Our Project Technician with MAMUCA, Víctor Daniel Escobar, provides us with the most current update below…