Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
As the 1st world advances on a daily basis with information technology, rural communities like Chugchilan get left behind. In order to bridge this gap we created a community library/computer learning center with guest donations & community collaboration. Chugchlan's library has over 1000 books & 10 computers with FREE internet access.
The library was created with the following donations: books, computers & money from tourists; literature from Room to Read; British School Quito gave equipment & programs; free shipping from US press attaché; a room in the local Church; construction materials from Cloud Forest Hostel; furniture from local missionaries; BSI provided labor, technical support & a librarian’s salary. All collaborations!
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Before 1994, the village of Chugchilan was unknown by tourists, travelers & agencies. 20 years later, Chugchilan has preserved its cultural charm & now has several small community businesses that profit from sustainable tourism including: horseback riding tours, woodworking furniture coop, 4 locally owned hostels, local native guides, 2 welders producing metal woodstoves, transportation coop, scholarships for University level students & a Public Library/Computer Learning Center with FREE internet access. Other improvements in the community since 1994 include: telephone & internet service, a health clinic, an ambulance, pavement in the plaza, over 200% more bus routes & a police station.
Sustainable development, with rural community benefits, is hard to achieve. BSI used a model of complete immersion into a community to create a village destination as opposed to one eco-resort.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
BSI is a grassroots endeavor that embraces change. Major investments included time, energy & commitment as opposed to heavy funding. Founder's Andres & Michelle were dedicated to the growth & sustainability of the community & environment.
Today the business IS entirely operated by Edmundo Vega. He was born & raised in Chugchilan before tourism developed. He studied hospitality & worked in Quito in hotels & restaurants for 30 years. His return to Chugchilan to take over the BSI was a perfect match. Edmundo rents the facility & runs all operations with the help of a local staff.