11 February 2007

Accelerated speed in Venezuela!

Our growth is accelerating! After four months of frustration we finally found a way to successfully connect to the Internet by buying a wireless modem with an alternative company, so now our four desktops and four laptops in the office are all connected.

Our volunteer “dream team” has four new members:
Hans van de Werfhorst (“Yogeshvar”), 56, from Netherlands, who has known Prout since 1974, and gave the first Prout lecture in Venezuela in 1978 when he was working in South America for three years as an “acarya” (spiritual teacher).
Taraka, 20, activist from Brazil
Dave Heighway, 35, from Canada, doing graduate studies in development and international relations in Denmark, is here full time until May.
Brian Landever, 24, high school teacher from USA

The work has changed dramatically, with daily morning meetings full of exciting ideas. In addition, several part-time volunteers are helping us, including university students.

Our current projects include:
1. Preparing an interview questionnaire that we will do with 50 cooperatives in the Barlovento area.
2. Preparing to give a series of Prout lectures at Caracas universities.
3. Preparing a project proposal to make an illustrated cooperative training manual.

Because we have so many volunteers now, we are doing several construction projects: renovating the bathroom (finished), building a sleeping loft, lockers, and more office furniture.

The Mondragón Cooperative Corporation in the Basque Country of Spain has accepted José Albarron (“Sarvajiit”), president of the PRIV Board of Directors, for a one-month scholarship training program in cooperatives. They will pay his air ticket, food, lodging and all expenses for this invaluable course during March.

For those of you who, like me, were concerned at President Hugo Chavez’s recent declaration of executive powers, I highly recommend reading the very thoughtful and balanced analysis by our friend, Gregory Wilpert, at: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/articles.php?artno=1953