I am working with the Huilo Huilo Foundation in Neltume, Chile. The foundation has three pillars that it runs by: conservation, community integration, and sustainable tourism. In the first week, we have been researching the difference between biological reserves and biosphere reserves. We are going to use this knowledge to create a database that compares different biological reserves from around the world. This database will be a point of gathering statistical measures of comparison so that the Huilo Huilo foundation can locate areas that they can change or just general patterns between different reserves.
I was extremely excited to have a director from the Huilo Huilo foundation attend our weekly group meeting. Having her share the goals of the foundation really solidified the relationship that I hope to have with the community partners and highlighted how we will be able to contribute to those goals. I am excited to continue meeting members of the foundation and learning more about their goals so that we are able to help them in more ways. As I move forward, I would like to know more about the history of the foundation and how/if the political environment of Chile affects the foundation. I also hope to learn more about the local artisans in the community but understand it may be more difficult to learn from them virtually.
I have already learned so much about Chile and the Huilo Huilo foundation from my program director and community partner and hope that through learning and understanding I am able to deliver tangible help toward their goals.