News From the Cloud Forest

Changes @ Los Cedros

There is some good news and some bad so I guess we start with the bad.

It has become necessary to raise our prices in light of new organizational obligations and to compensate the staff for thier work. Since Ecuador renounced its own monitary system and adopted the dollar as its medium of exchange there has been a constant increase in the cost of living where it is considered that a basic income necessary to supply a family is well over 400$ a month. Currently the reserve has been paying between 6 and 7 dollars US a day in wages and considering we need to feed all the staff here an aditional 3 dollars a day for prep and food could be considered as part of this wage.

This wage is being raised progressivly in the case of kitchen staff but has been raised definativly for machete and transport based labour to 10$ p/d plus food.

I know it is not much. These new prices to cover this additional expence will take effect on the 1 of March 2007.

On the positive side we have received recognition from the Ministry of Environment for the new FundacĂ­on Los Cedros which is the legally recognized organization that is responsible for the protection of Bosque Protector Los Cedros.

This status will allow us to receive funding for project management and subsequently entail bookeeping expences. The new foundation has incorporated several new community members and some CIBT people as well.

Fabian Hernandez- Founder of the community eco tourism project Comite de Ecoturismo de Manduracos.

Jose Cueva- Comercial organic vegetable producer who also works in certification of organic produce. Jose also is an organizer of comunity participation in protected areas with the El Chontal protected forest and the Cambugan project.

Ximena Mina- Member of the ecotourism project and member of the Paroquial council here in our area.

Maritza Cifuentes- Secretarial/Administrative manager of CIBT who continues with this new organization.

Timoteo Metz- Founder of Restoration Forestry and member of directorat of Ancient Forests International.

Jose DeCoux- Long time Los Cedros organizer and resident.

We need some sugestions on where to look for support for this new orgainzational structure. The first task for the FLC will be to get the management plan updated and aproved by the Ministry of Environment.

Josef DeCoux
Executive Director
FundacĂ­on Los Cedros