Leaders from OPODNE’s 12 local organizing committees met in Caracol for their annual gathering to evaluate their work and plan future efforts. Despite the lack of a functioning government this past year, leaders report resilience and determination from each community to sustain self-help projects already underway. Computer centers in Caracol, St. Suzanne, and Paulette continue to provide training. Micro lending efforts in Mombin Crochu, Mont Organise, and Capotille are strong and provide capital for people. The peanut cooperative in Capotille is back in operation and the fishing co-op formed in Phaeton is working, with the fishing season just beginning. Community clean up and road repair activities are taking place in all the communities. All of this happens without financial support.
Each community made commitments to train additional leaders and demonstrate the power of the organizing model. As the new government begins to function, OPODNE leaders want their organizations to be well positioned with elected officials, recognized by other NGOs and the larger community, and most importantly, to advance the needs of the community and capture any development opportunities that arise. We are inspired by the faith and dedication of the OPODNE leaders.