First Onsite Visit to Meet Authorities

In March of this year a CEDESOL team traveled to Toro Toro to complete an onsite visit, have a better understanding of the project needs and challenges as well as meet and socialize the project with the local authorities.

The team was composed of

  • David Whitfield – then Executive director
  • Guadelupe Torrico – Training and demonstration Coordinator
  • Ing. Paola Arce – Projects Coordinator
  • Rebecca Werner – Canadian Volunteer
  • Daniel Sabaton – French Volunteer

We also took Paola`s 2 children Nicholas and Natalie.  Paola is a single mother and usually has to stay in town because of her responsibilities to their children, so it was a special time for all of us that they all could participate.

After four and a half hours of traveling we arrived in the municipal capital of Toro Toro.  We first located the District Director of schools, Prof. Pedro Gimenez and spent an hour reviewing our information and the project specifics.  He agreed to accompany us and guide us to the schools since we did not even have a map as to where the schools are.  To this date, we have not located a map.  That is how remote the area we are working in is.

The first school we visited was approximately 2 hours from Toro Toro over winding dirt roads and mountainous terrain.  Fog was constantly closing in our visibility and we traveled to heights over 4 thousand meters above sea level before finally arriving at Yambata.

We met with the schools director and the teachers discussing the project, their cooking conditions, boarding house issues, fuel sources etc.  The school staff manifested their desire and agreement to participate.  We then returned to Toro Toro.

From Toro Toro, we traveled south for almost 2.5 hours, got stuck in the mud once and arrived at Carasi. We spent the night in the school, met with the staff, got to see some of the village and after breakfast left early for Tambo Kása and after that Pocosuco.

Late in the afternoon we returned to Toro Toro, met with Pedro Juchasara, the Mayor’s Secretary General. With Prof. Pedro’s help we explained the project, asked for support from the municipality and discussed developing a memorandum of understanding.

We got bact to Cochabamba after midnight and unloaded the car.

Over the next weeks we developed the “Convenio” with back and forth communications from the mayor`s office. Sent them printed copies and PowerPoint’s which they shared with their city council, and the city council approved the project.

Unfortunately for our project timing, the current mayor did not sign the agreement before the new mayor took over and we have to do that part of the process all over again.

Posted in Toro Toro Project Progress

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