Sunday, November 2, 2014

We are Back in Colombia. The Project Moves Forward!

I'm back in Colombia!  I have been in Bogota for the past week.  I leave this Saturday for Leticia.

My favorite restaurant in downtown Bogota, El Artistico

So what is going on with the project?  Here are selections from our last board meeting minutes with my current updates added.

  1. We have changed the registered Amazon Pueblo business from Rockland to Thomaston, Maine, USA.  The Colombian business co-op remains based in La Libertad, Colombia.
  2. Fundraising
    1. We have reached our $3,000 goal.  The monkey graph is full!
    2. We may have our next major fundraising event during June of 2015, at Water Dog Tavern in Thomaston, Maine.
    3. Amazon merchandise
      1. I am storing the unsold Amazon Pueblo merchandise at our Thomaston address.
      2. To buy for new sales: ONLY emerald stud earrings, blowguns, piranha jewelry, and stuffed piranha.  These are consistently our best sellers.  We have enough of everything else.
      3. I am selling coffee and chocolate for half price.  Should I bring back more?  Better marketing?  Should we try selling these items on EBay?  It is great coffee and chocolate.
    4. New developments
    5. University of New Hampshire
      1. We have started an informal talks with the Environmental Engineering department at UNH.  I met with them in October.  They are interested in helping with the project.  They are also a member of the Students Without Borders program.  They have two current projects at UNH for SWB, which is the max they allow.  When they are finished with one of the two, they may be interested in a formal partnership.  However, an individual student from the program is interested in volunteering in the village in January.  They are also open to the idea of jointly submitting a grant proposal.
      2. I met with a Ellsworth organization called Sustainable Harvest International, .  They have many overlaps with Amazon Pueblo.  I with the founder and a director of their organization.  They are a multinational business.  They are interested in expanding in Latin America, speaking further, and possibly in jointly submitting a grant proposal to fund work in La Libertad.
      3. I have been in contact with Vintage Plantations,,  (from New Jersey).  They are interested in buying chocolate from the Amazon.  I am going to meet with representatives in San Fransisco (10,000 trees in production) to see what we can put together.  This would help to accelerate the cacao industry in La Libertad.  However, from what I last knew San Francisco had some serious problems with their fermentation process during their production stages.
      4. I have been speaking with one of my former students from Colombia.  (He actually read all of the website!)  He has graduated from college with a degree in mechanical engineering, and currently working for a French firm in Bogota.  He is eager to help with the project.  I met with him this week in Bogota.  He may also know some of my other former students who may be willing to help.
      5. The Chisholm Group,, has offices in Washington DC and Bogota.  They have contacts in Colombia that may help with the project.  I spoke with them and have been in communication until September.   I have not had any further contact with them since.  I plan to stop by their office in Bogota this week to see what is going on.
      6. I have spoken with the founder of Maps for Good,  He is interested in the Amazon project and gave me some good tips.  To proceed with many of our development plans we need some good maps.  In the interim I have Photoshopped some Google maps with fairly good detail and applied them to vinyl.  These should help with jungle navigation from La Libertad to Leticia.  I may also get an official topographic map of the Leticia/La Libertad region, but to get these I need permission from the Colombian military.
    6. Board meeting in January
      1. Our director positions (for our four officers) have reached their two year limit this past month.  According to our bylaws we should reinstate our positions, as needed, this January.  We will discuss this, and the overall plans for Amazon Pueblo, Inc, further.
That's all folks!

No comments:

Post a Comment