Encouraging Self Sufficiency vs Charity

Elias Alvarado, Production Director of the Kallari Cooperative in Tena, Ecuador:
"A couple years ago I thought it was impossible for us to create these large slabs of wood from salvaged logs, I couldn't comprehend how to create value from something just laying in the forest. I never imagined it would be this easy - we needed so little to get started. We did not have the vision to use our scrap wood and make it into something valuable like furniture. I could see the finished product in books or internet, but didn't understand how to make it from our trees. Now I feel like my eyes have been opened with this lesson, as if we have woken up from our slumber and can now initiate a new woodworking facility."

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"Our families have a small income and wood is something that will contribute to their overall family earnings, it will make a difference for our village/community members.
It helps us rest at night as leaders, because our job is to find a way to create alternative income sources to the deforestation and contamination."
 
"I also want to thank the companies that donated the equipment and Timbergreen Farm for donating the chainsaw. These tools will serve as a cornerstone for the future woodworking business of Kallari."

"Please tell your friends that we appreciate the school supplies and education donations, but if others could come and share their time and knowledge like you have, we would be even better served by developing income generating skills and activities."

 

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Kallari Board Member Edison Mamallacta (far left):
"Our families trust us to find ways for them to add value to their cacao by making chocolate. But the wood seems even easier than cacao and nearly everyone has hardwood pieces resting on their farms that they could make income from."

 

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"I hope that you liked Ecuador, especially the place where you went to cut the trees, even though it was pretty far away. I also thank you with all my heart that you donated the saws (cutting machines) to the people who live there." Saludos cordiales, Roxana  (center) 

Rosio, Timberjig technician (left) and Judy - our fantastic guide and interpreter

 

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Carlos Pozo, General Coordinator: (seated on the log)
"Thank you for your technical training and the equipment donation, this will
remain as a motivating force for us to continue.  We hope that you return to see the progress."

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