Apr 25, 2012

Connecting the Dots

Do you remember the childhood game of connect the dots? I used to play it all the time when I was a kid. There was something satisfying about drawing a line from one dot to the next to create a picture. Now, I love helping my 2-year old son do the same. The realization dawning on his face when that picture forms is priceless! It is a simple game and in the end, reveals so much. But why am I talking about a children’s game?

What does that have to do with EcoLogic?

Simply put what EcoLogic does is not that simple. It is complex. So in 2011 we started the campaign Connect the Dots in an effort to explain how building a fuel-efficient stove in Guatemala should matter to a lawyer in Boston, or why a composting latrine in Panama should be important to a student in San Francisco.

The message: we are all truly connected.

Last year I met Don Vicente Canales on his farm in northern Honduras. He spoke about
his recent successes incorporating agroforestry techniques into his farm land and how the
technical support provided by EcoLogic has helped.

Whether you are a farmer in remote village in Guatemala or a lobster fisherman off the shores of Cape Cod, water is the source of life— we are all connected. We all share the Earth – and we should all work as hard as we can to protect it. Our approach is holistic and the tools we use are diverse.

On the same trip as meeting Don Vincent Canales I met up with some local girls who took the hike up the hills to see their community water tank.

This campaign is about drawing lines from the tools we use to help illustrate the connections, not only between each EcoLogic project but between you, me, the villages we support, and the rest of the world.

EcoLogic wants all people in Central America and Mexico to have the motivation and the ability to protect the environment and provide for themselves in sustainable ways, so that they can improve their well-being and quality of life.
Doña Ovina Hurtado, a Community Leader in Punta Alegre smiling with her
 friend during a recent trip to the Gulf of San Miguel in Panama.

We hope that our efforts to Connect the Dots between the people and places where we work will hit home for you. So, stay tuned for our messaging about Connect the Dots. We would like you to read our words and imagine the picture that forms by connecting all the dots. And remember, you are an important "dot" that helps complete the picture.

- Gina Rindfleisch, Program Officer for EcoLogic
Gina manages EcoLogic's fundraising activities targeting individual donations. Prior to joining EcoLogic she served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nicaragua working in environmental education and holds a BA in environmental studies from Long Island University. 

Apr 18, 2012

Don’t call it a comeback…

Spring has sprung, flowers are blooming, and EcoLogic is blogging. This feels right.

Even though EcoBlogic has been on hiatus since July – EcoLogic certainly hasn’t.With ongoing projects from Mexico to Panama and regional staff working with hundreds of communities with reforestation projects and water source protection, we have plenty to show you.

For instance, did you all know what an inga seed looks like?

Inga, or guama in Spanish, is a plant used in agroforestry. Agroforesty is a method of farming that mixes small trees and shrubs in among crops. Why would you want to do that, you ask? Well, good question. Agroforestry farming takes advantage of the natural benefits of trees and shrubs, such as reducing soil erosion because of their root system, shading crops with their leaves, and then, when the leaves fall and decompose, acting as a natural fertilizer for the soil.

Now, the beauty of using inga is that its native to the areas where we work and when farmers use it in their fields they can, overtime, double their crop yield!

How about fuel-efficient stoves? Have you seen them in action?

This is a stove we built in Honduras and - since we use local, readily available materials - it is made from adobe. For rural communities in Honduras, families typically use open-pit fires, like you would for camping. This method is inefficient and dangerous. The fuel-efficient stoves we build are up to 60% more efficient, so that means less wood has to be collected and fewer trees are removed from the forest.

So that’s why we have created EcoBlogic – to give you a closer look at our work and perhaps see it in a different light. Also, we also want to hear from you - your questions, your comments. Tell us what you think, what you want to know more about, who you want to hear from. We welcome all comments!