Monday, March 15, 2010


Community Economic Development is community driven, so I'll spend my first few months on site integrating into the community and learning about their needs. My homework this last week included practicing two of the tools Peace Corps recommends--community mapping and interviews:

Of course, learning about the local economy goes beyond visiting pulperías (corner stores). I've also learned about making sugar:

and raising pigs (yes, they're eating sausage):

I ask questions to get a sense of how everything works. Take, for example, timing. If you buy young pigs, how long until they're big enough to sell them at a decent profit? (3 months). How long do you have to re-invest all your profits in your pulperia before you really start making money? (a year). How quickly can you take out a business loan from the bank? (6 months, but if you're in a hurry you can pay more interest and take out a personal loan).

No sudden realizations or answers yet. But on Sunday my host family showed me a local swimming hole:


  1. Hey Alex! Just wanted to say hey and let you know I've been really enjoying reading your blog! I like your mixture of sort of theoretical musings and personal goings-on. It's really interesting! Also, you've got some nice pictures. Anyway, hope you're having a good time down there.

  2. wowwy wow wow wow! is there any way to embed all of your pictures largely? for some reason, i could only view the pig photo enlarged. i want to swim in a hole!

  3. The original pictures are pretty big--around 3MB depending on the settings on my camera--but so far I´ve been uploading small pics since there´s not that much bandwidth here. I´ll see if bigger pictures work in the future.