Nececitamos Capital

The people learning to use the microsawmill* weren't able to work today (friday) or last monday, in large part because they had no gas or oil to run their machines, and no money to buy the materials they need to work. This seems to be a common problem with project funding in Mexico- grants often pay for an initial upfront cost, such as buying machines or planting trees, but fall short when it comes to long-term support needed to operate, maintain, or care for that initial investment.

Another example of the problem is the dozen or so ejidos that received woodworking machinery to build furniture, but can't turn the machines on because their villages don't have high voltage electricity. Only one ejido, Reforma Agraria, is operating a woodshop because they could afford to bring in an electrician to convert the machines to run on the lower voltage.

In this case, there's a gap between learning to operate a microsawmill for a few weeks and producing enough boards to make the first sale. In the words of one** of the ejidatarios, "We need capital."

These guys pretty much know how to make boards, and have the machines to do it. They also have the will to work, and want this project to succeed because they see the value it will add to their wood. They went door to door yesterday and today trying to find enough motor oil to keep the chainsaws going. The problem is, until they can make that first sale, they won't have the money to keep producing boards and make that first sale.

Its a catch 22 from hell.


** I don't want to get anyone in trouble, so I won't mention names.

No comments: