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CEN eNewsletter - October 2011                                                                     Contact Us

In this issue...

Letter from the Director
From the EmpowerBlog: What HIV/AIDS Work Can Teach Global Development
CEN launches the Juá Community-based Tourism Project to build sustainable livelihoods through Community-based Tourism
What is Community-Based Tourism?
The Communities of the Juá enjoy Basic Services, a Diverse Environment, but Few Livelihood Options
Volunteer Spotlight: Eric Chu helps Build CENs Ability to Bring in New Resources
Upcoming Events: CEN's Cruise and Hotel Getaways Raffle  - now through October 30
How You Can Help

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Letter from the Director

Bob It’s been quite a few months since I’ve been in touch with you through the CEN newsletter. This is because we’ve been very busy developing our new integrated community-based tourism project in the Amazon. This will improve livelihoods, while allowing the communities to retain control over the process so they can meet their own goals rather than be bystanders in an initiative managed by those outside the community. The project will build upon our work from the past few years creating the key social and technological methodology for strengthening the basic soft skills and mindsets that forms a strong foundation for long-term sustainable community development. Read More about the Juá Community-based Tourism Project.

During the beginning of this year I travelled back down to the Amazon to continue work with Couro Ecológico, the small worker-run association making rubber purses, as well as an entrepreneur group in the community where we operated the pilot. While there, I also met with the organizers and members of Banco da Mulher, a rotating saving fund in the region, to examine these important strategies or approaches that provide funds to female micro-entrepreneurs in the region in order to facilitate similar initiatives with other groups. We’re hoping to put on a series of information sessions in several cities and online, later this year in order to share the results of our findings with you.

All we have accomplished so far has been made possible by supporters like you. This year’s Annual Campaign, which runs October 1 through the 30th is especially critical this year, not only to maintain our important work with Couro Ecológico and the entrepreneurs in Suruacá, but also to support the new Juá Community-based Tourism Project for the next 12 months or so, until we are able to line up wider project funding through a partnership with a foundation.  We also need to raise $3000 to cover the expenses of hiring a professional grant consultant to assist us with the process of securing our first project grant. This is an important step in our efforts to build a sustainable organization capable of realizing our mission of building self-reliant communities around the world. You can help our efforts by contributing to the campaign or by purchasing tickets for our Cruise and Hotel Getaways Raffle. Read more about how you can help.

I’d like to thank everyone again for all your support and am incredibly excited about our new project, and how it promises to become another tool in our arsenal to communities around the world to become more self-reliant.

Bob Bortner

CEN Founder and Director

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RSS feedFrom the EmpowerBlog: What HIV/AIDS Work Can Teach Global Development

by Frances Walker-Dudenhoefer

Care enough to actIn most editions of the newsletter we highlight one posting to CEN’s blog. Please subscribe to receive notification of new postings

With the best of intentions, global development work often falters when NGOs take a top-down approach. Exacerbating this scenario is the phenomenon of Learned Helplessness, a term most frequently heard in the field of domestic violence, but also applicable to communities that over generations have become used to having decisions made for them. With communities not engaged in the initial planning and development process, it is little surprise that the developing world is now littered with technology and projects that fell apart as soon as the implementing NGO left. Read More>>

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CEN launches the Juá Community-based Tourism Project to build sustainable livelihoods through Community-based Tourism

by Alicia Craven and Robert Bortner

Welcome to the JuaOur newest project will incorporate CEN’s growing experience strengthening basic skills and mindsets that form a strong foundation for self-reliant communities, along with a multi-faceted approach to fostering community-based eco-tourism in a group of 16 small communities near the Juá Creek, near the city of Santarém, in the Brazilian Amazon. The project will improve community livelihoods, without abandoning their unique life styles and culture. Learn more>>

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What is Community-Based Tourism?

by Alicia Craven and Bob Bortner

Boat arrivingCommunity-based tourism allows communities to share their environment and ways of life with visitors, while increasing local income and building local economies. Community-based tourism initiatives that function as collective enterprises decrease poverty not only by increasing income but also by strengthening the management of the development by relevant stakeholders. Learn More>>

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The Communities of the Juá enjoy Basic Services, a Diverse Environment, but Few Livelihood Options

by Bob Bortner

Jua FestivalThe 16 communities of the Juá, where our latest project is located, are located in the micro-basin of Juá Creek, about 20 km east of the city of Santarém and only a few kilometers from the shore of the Tapajós River. While most of the communities have access to clean water, basic education and electricity, opportunities to earn a living are limited. Difficulties are compounded by a recent influx of people from the city buying up land and threatening the local environment. Learn More>>

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Volunteer SpotlightVolunteer Spotlight: Eric Chu helps Build CENs Ability to Bring in New Resources

by Eric Chu

Eric ChuIn privileged countries, such as the United States, we face many first world problems.  Do I want Chinese or Italian for dinner?  Do I want to mow the lawn myself or pay someone else to do it for me? Do these jeans look too tight on me?  Like all of us, Eric Chu admits he finds himself distracted by these  daily quandaries, but he joined CEN because he wanted to apply the professional skills he’s developed at Booz,Allen, Hamilton, a leading international consulting firm, to help tackle some of the more basic and intractable challenge faced by developing communities.

Eric has a serious passion for learning more about the mechanisms of economic growth and international development.  Eric spent a portion of his undergraduate days studying these topics, and look to poverty experts such as Jeffrey Sachs and Esther Duflo for inspiration.  After college, Eric went on to pursue consulting work in the government sphere and became involved in his local community.  However, wanting to continue his exploration of international development, Eric joined CEN as its Fundraising Lead in April 2011. Through this position, Eric is in charge of building and managing the fundraising team, which is responsible for organizing CEN’s fundraising strategy and initiatives, including our Annual Campaign and the Cruise and Hotel Getaways Raffle, which begin this month. Eric hopes that he can continue learning more and more, and do his part in ensuring CEN has the financial resources to achieve its mission.

For more information on Eric, please view his Linked In Profile.

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Upcoming Events ...

CEN's Cruise and Hotel Getaways Raffle 

Now through October 30th
CEN's Cruise and Hotel Getaways Raffle

Experience a cruise to the Caribbean, Mexico, Bermuda or Canada for two or a 3 day, 2 night hotel stay. Raffle tickets cost 1 for $5, 3 for $12, 8 for $25 and 25 for $50. There are 10 chances to win so buy your tickets.Buy tickets

The drawing will be held on October 30th at the Seattle SkiFever & Snowboard Show at 3pm at the Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle, WA. Need not to be present to win.

Your chance to win is high with 10 prizes total! All proceeds will benefit CEN's fight against global poverty, including and our new Juá Community-based Tourism Project.

For more info and to purchase your raffle tickets today, visit the raffle page on our website »

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How You Can Help

Help the Juá Communities Take Control of their Development!

CENs Annual Pledge Drive now through October 28th
Thermometer for Pledge Drive

Our new Community-based development program will build the Juá Communities’ ability to guide their own development, rather than simply become bystanders. The project has already made great progress but we need your help to keep making progress while CEN works to secure long-term funding for the full project through foundation grants over the next 12 months.

CEN relies entirely on supporters like you to help those in poor, under-served communities become self-reliant and rise out of poverty. We need to raise $7500 through the end of October to keep on track to supporting this project. Our Annual Empowerment Pledge Drive - our one big fundraiser for 2011 - runs through October 30th. We ask that you PLEASE DONATE today.

Donate through Paypal

Free Thank You Gift  for Your Support - Now through October 28!

 Pledges of $50 will receive a free voucher good for a 2 night/3day hotel stay in one of 14 destinations in the US and Mexico, including Hawaii and Las Vegas. Learn more

Pledges of $150 or more will receive a voucher for a free 3, 4, 5 or 7 night Fantasy Cruise to the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, or Bermuda. Learn More

While supplies last

If you can’t give today – please purchase raffle tickets. You chance to win is high with 10 prizes total! All proceeds will benefit CEN's fight against global poverty, including and our new Juá Community-based Tourism Project.

More Info and Purchase your raffle ticket today

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Bob Bortner

Contributing Writers

Bob Bortner
Alicia Craven
Frances Walker-Dudenhoefer

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