Come see what we’ve done in the DR!
Now now now, just because I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean that we haven’t been working!
One of the projects that we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks has been in the small town of Juancho in the Dominican Republic. We have been working closely with E.G.E. Haina, which is an energy generating company in the DR. For a little bit of history, E.G.E. Haina has built a windpark near Juancho, but since the windpark doesn’t create jobs, they’ve decided to help the community in other ways, which is where we come into the picture. Mary Beth has taught several health and sanitation classes in the area and has worked with teachers there too. There are other projects in the works too that include artificial wetlands, protected marine areas and ecotourism.
When I went down there in August with Mary Beth, we were getting certified for Reef Check, which creates a baseline assessment of the status of the reefs. Let’s be honest though, as much as I would LOVE to keep going back and doing Reef Check, it’s not exactly feasible or ideal for a bunch of us to travel to Jauncho every year to dive, which is what a proper Reef Check site needs. So, we have 2 of the local fishermen that have been selected from their local cooperative to be SCUBA certified!! These fishermen (whom I know and can personally vouch for – they are two great guys!) will be Reef Check trained and have other diving related responsibilities too that will ultimately benefit the whole community.
However, as any diver knows, getting certified is not cheap even in the US, which doesn’t have the kinds of import fees that the DR has… we have to raise about $500 to get them through the classes… and believe it or not, I’m not asking you for money (though of course if you want to donate to this cause, it would be GREATLY appreciated), but ideas! How can we raise $500 relatively quickly?