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Villa Santa bought an inexpensive circular sawmill powered by a gasoline motor.

The cooperative members easily learned how to maintain the mill and the motor. The

blade could be sharpened by hand, and the parts for the motor were readily available.

The initial investment was repaid quickly, but the mill now sits idle most of the time

because of problems in other areas of the logging operation, usually the skidder or

coordination with AFE/COHDEFOR. Cooperativa Guadalupe’s sawmill (Figure 10) was

more expensive, with better equipment and a large diesel motor. Maintenance and

repairs were also simple, but parts for the motor were more difficult to find. Over the

Figure 10. New sawmill at Cooperativa Guadalupe on its inauguration day.

first two years of operation, the mill averaged one to two days of down time for every six

working days. The causes of down times were diverse, with no particular area of the

logging operation a persistent culprit. Transportation, machinery failure, bureaucracy,

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