These Phase 1 skills are an essential foundation. Phase 2 of the program builds on that by taking participants one step further, teaching them to apply the skills to more complex projects. We are seeking Phase 2 funding and hope to launch it by early 2010.
In the meantime, we have begun two new initiatives to support strong projects taking shape in these communities: Rubber Products and Ecotourism. The rubber products initiative supports one participant to rebuild a local association that produces handbags and other crafts made from locally harvested rubber. With this support, members learn how to produce stunning original designs and sell the bags through the CEN website and other retails. (Visit the Products section of our site later in May to start shopping!)
The Ecotourism initiative supports sustainable visitation to the communities. The villages get carefully managed infusions of visitors while tour members experience the incredible Amazon region and participate in CEN activities that help community members build skills. The first tour, called Unveiling the Amazon, is this summer! To learn more or to reserve a spot, click here.
We're very excited about these plans and the power the cCLEAR program is already bringing to participants. We know that, as people buy their handicrafts and participate in their sustainable tourism activities, these communities will thrive as never before.