Collaboration in the Community

OppCollabOrgCoopWhat do you do with a conference full of people interested in solving world poverty? You pack ’em up on a bus and you take them into the community to talk directly to the people in need. 

That’s exactly what we did last week. As over 200 delegates converged at Club Med Ixtapa for the inaugural Opportunity Collaboration conference, Playa Viva was invited in by conference organizer,  Jonathan Lewis, to lead a group of 30 on a field trip to “Collaborate in the Community”. 

The group first met with the local organic food producers coop called La Costa.  La Costa has been exporting basil to the US and is now adding additional products such as Hawaiian papaya.  The leaders of La Costa spoke to the delegation  about the progress they have made over the years in building their program to support 77 partners and 50 affiliates.  The group presented their needs for funding refrigeration of the processing facility in order not to break the “cold chain”. Additionally, they are interested in additional resources in order to form a store to support local farmers in obtaining organic fertilizers and for selling their organic produce to local hotels, restaurants and private homes.

Our second stop was with the local artisanal salt coop. This group consists of 120 members, about 100 of which are currently active in the process of harvesting salt from the nearby lagoon. Of these, 50 are using traditional “organic” methods of harvesting salt using hand-made ponds. The remaining 50 have abandoned these artisanal means of production and are using plastic liners to speed up the process. The plastic drying beds are leaching into the salt as well as polluting the lagoon creating a health hazard for consumer and producers.  Playa Viva’s goal is to help locals find better markets that will pay the premium such healthy salt deserves – on par with Sal de Mar, Himalayan Pink Salt, etc. – branding the name “Sal Viva”.

Our final stop was at Playa Viva where the members of the turtle sanctuary as waiting for us with a huge surprise – almost 3000 baby turtles waiting to make their run for the ocean. 

Many of the participants told us that this field trip was one of the highlights of the conference.  Jonathan Lewis has invited us back next year to be a more integral part of the agenda.  The presentation by the artisanal salt coop to the group from Opportunity Collaboration was also covered by the local press – Despertar de la Costa.  We look forward to generating results for the community from this visit. Please join us in supporting the economic vitality and health of this community – visit us at Playa Viva.

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