Last week, EcoLogic sat down with Warren Darrell, an EcoLogic Ambassador. Warren had previously spent time journeying around Honduras to places like Copán, Lempira, and Colón where he observed the prevalence of hillside agriculture and soil degradation, as well as emerging conservation strategies such as soil-conserving agroforestry. Warren told EcoLogic that over the years, through his travels and interests, he learned that the key to successful development and conservation projects is involving local people and their community organizations and helping them enact the change they want to see. In his own words, Warren supports organizations that have an approach to their work that align with his international aid mantra that “supporting the right people and organizations is more important than the amount of support,” and after visiting Honduras, he says EcoLogic’s work confirms that.
EcoLogic: From your perspective, what was the most significant thing that you saw, that happened, or that you experienced during your visit to Honduras?
WD: Well, I would say the most significant thing is the teamwork between EcoLogic and its partners. At least organizationally, because that I think is the most key point in getting anything done in this kind of sustainable development work. So, I would say organizationally and in terms of people, definitely the partnerships with what appeared to be good local organizations. As far as physically, the two things I’d mention would be that the water councils—and I saw more of the El Pino council than I did of Los Coyoles—they appeared to physically have a pretty good water infrastructure. The small reservoirs in the mountains and then bringing it down to their big storage chlorination tanks. They appeared to be pretty well organized. Physically, the stove program is a great program, period. So what was impressive to me was the strength of the partnerships organizationally, and physically the water systems and the stove programs were particularly significant to me.