This guest blog is written by Warren Darrell, a retired environmental engineer from northern Virginia, who became involved with EcoLogic in the summer of 2016 as a Steward of Nature (our monthly donation program). Having spent some time Honduras, Guatemala, and other Latin American countries to volunteer with various sustainable development organizations, he was intrigued by EcoLogic’s community-based approach to watershed conservation and sustainable agriculture. But giving monthly by himself wasn’t enough. Ultimately, he wanted to help EcoLogic raise funds as an Ambassador — EcoLogic’s volunteer fundraisers who help us spread the EcoLogic message and garner support from family, friends, and colleagues. And to do that, Warren wanted to visit our work in person so that he could witness and verify its impact.
First, Carlos Duarte Euraque, EcoLogic Program Officer for Honduras, and I visited the Junta Administradora de Agua El Pino, which is the non-governmental community water cooperative serving the village of El Pino and nearby households. With a few employees and several volunteers, they operate and maintain a system which provides safe potable water. Even though the water source is within Pico Bonito National Park, the Honduran government lacks the resources to protect their forests and wild areas, so Junta technicians and volunteers patrol the steep forested watershed in the Nombre de Dios Mountains to guard against illegal logging. The Junta de agua (“water council,” in English) also operates a tree nursery to help farmers in the watershed practice agroforestry, which combines trees with agriculture to conserve soil and water. They also operate a recycling center, where school children exchange plastic trash for school and household supplies.