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charge a small tax, which could later be reinvested in forest management activities

including reforestation and fire protection. The cooperative worked and co-existed with

the Fondo for about six months, then members of the cooperative began to interfere with

the committee. This interference violated the contract agreed to and signed by the

cooperative, the Fondo, AFE/COHDEFOR, MAFOR, and the Municipality. This further

divided the community over whether the cooperative was trustworthy. At least one

resident did not think it was. “The Fondo was doing its job. Why did the cooperative

interfere? It’s obvious that they are greedy to cut the forest for their own profit. The

whole community should benefit if they are cutting.” At last notice, the cooperative was

inactive and waiting for meetings with the Municipality, COHDEFOR, and MAFOR to

decide what would be done.

Protección, unlike its two neighbor cooperatives, has never received extensive

assistance from a development project. MAFOR originally offered to work with

Protección, as well as Quebrada Honda and Chaguite Grande. The cooperative in San

José de Protección resisted the temptation to commit to MAFOR, which was offering

money and sweeping changes. The cooperative decided as a group that the project was

not in their best interests. One informant stated, “They wanted to log the forest with

independent groups, and we didn’t like the idea of giving responsibility for our forest to

anyone other than the cooperative.” Of all the cooperatives in this study, Protección is

the best example of a cooperative that has survived with little outside assistance.

The advantages and disadvantages of development assistance for cooperatives is

difficult to analyze because of different philosophies utilized in development projects.

AFOCO and MAFOR were similar, but the results were very different. The result of


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