Who are these guys, or gals as the case may be?
They are the links that turn EcoLogic agreements with partners and communities into reality. A “técnico” — field technician in English — is an EcoLogic team member that works most closely with the communities executing our projects.
When EcoLogic begins a relationship with a local partner based on the social and environmental needs of the area, two steps are critical: a community consultation and the development of a project design agreement. After the initial step of community consultation, this is when the técnico becomes the driver of the commitments. They are the team members who keep the momentum generated during the community consultations moving forward and lead partners in the day-to-day work of the project. They are the human face of this support and bear the EcoLogic “banner” in community interactions. They also relay the project’s needs, progress, successes and setbacks to EcoLogic staff and local partners.
Besides working with the communities directly, the técnicos also draft the project profile, a tool that is incredibly important and used for data collection and evaluation by the EcoLogic team. It covers science, finance, mapping, and photography. The técnico has to know something about everything.
From what I have seen, what really drives the técnicos is a strong sense of community support. This support is what makes it more than just a job to them. They leave much of their lives unscheduled in order to be flexible and best serve the needs of communities, whenever they may arise. They work nights, Sundays, holidays; they travel by motorcycle, car, boat, or on foot for hours on end no matter the rain or struggles. If there is something to do, they do it.
When I’ve been with them in the communities, I realize how much I can learn from them.
Thank you for reading and regards, wherever you are!
– Rodrigo Morales, Regional Project Officer for EcoLogic
Rodrigo is conservation biologist with particular expertise in protected areas monitoring and management. He works closely with EcoLogic country program officers identifying potential project sites and monitoring existing projects. Rodrigo works out of our Regional Office in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala.