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know what was important for planning the project. The layout of the mill was poorly

designed, which later hindered production efficiency. The training for the members who

would later work at the mill was insufficient. Once they started working, they

haphazardly dealt with the numerous problems as they arose. The cooperative received

no training in lumber drying and storage, sawmill maintenance and repairs, safety,

sawyer techniques, and most importantly, marketing of the lumber. As a result, the

cooperative had to learn by trial and error. While this is an effective learning technique,

it was risky and it cost the cooperative and the project time and money.

Other factors like the pine bark beetle and the AFE/COHDEFOR downsizing

have hindered the progress of the cooperative’s new ventures. The current situation of

the cooperative is precarious, which is unfortunate because the cooperative may have to

sell its property in Yuscarán in order to avoid forfeiting the property to the bank.

Quebrada Honda and Chaguite Grande both worked with development projects in

the past. Chaguite Grande was assisted by SIFE, an FAO project, from 1986 to 1990.

The project trained the cooperative members in logging and lumber processing and also

constructed a steam-powered sawmill in the community to process harvested logs. The

sawmill only operated when the cooperative could obtain temporary permission to

harvest. After SIFE left the community, the mill only worked until the first time it

needed repairs. The sawmill is now a skeleton on the outskirts of the village.

In 1990, MAFOR, a project financed by the government of Finland, arrived to

work with the communities of San José de Protección, Quebrada Honda, and Chaguite

Grande. Protección decided not to work with MAFOR, but Quebrada Honda and

Chaguite Grande accepted the assistance. In reality, the cooperatives from these


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