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