I've ben sent back to Santa Maria Poniente by the folks at OEPF to document their new board produccion system. Up until now, they've only ben able to sell logs to the saw mill, which makes the income they recieve per tree rather minimal. To address this isue, a couple of the head honchos from OEPF went over to Honduras to check out a machine that MaderaVerde uses to make boards at the site of the cut tree in the woods.
Its basically just a frame that goes over a chainsaw, but its simplicity hides its potential. By eliminating the need to drag whole logs out of the woods with big machines, the "micro sawmill" could save a whole lot of land from disturbance and soil compaction, and do so while increasing the money that stays in the community.
The head honchos brought the machine back, and John Curtis has been training people on how to use it. Since John is in Washington right now (probably talking to even bigger head honchos) one of his students, Hector, is doing the training today. Watching this 19 year old kid teach 40 year old men how to increase the value of their wood was an incredible experience - the kid is good.
He also represents a step forward in John's stated goal of making himself unnecessary: John taught him, in Spanish, how to work the micro sawmill, and now Hector is teaching others, in Mayan, how to do the same.