CORAL Field Summit Meeting in Mexico
|Standing (left to right): Kate Trevelyan-Hall (Foundation and Grants Associate), Candace Leong (Conservation Programs Associate), Kenneth Johnson (Mesoamerican Regional Manager/Mexico), Jenny Myton (Honduras Field Manager), Rick MacPherson (Interim Executive Director/Conservation Programs Director), Heidi Williams (Fiji Field Manager), Moala Tokota'a (Fiji Field Representative), Sirilo "Didi" Dulunaqio (Fiji Field Representative), Naneng Setiasih (Coral Triangle Regional Manager/Indonesia)
Kneeling (left to right): Valentine Rosado (Belize Field Manager), Kara Osada-D'Avella (Hawaii Field Representative), Liz Foote (Hawaii Field Manager)
In December 2010, CORAL staff from all of our international project sites and headquarters converged in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, for an intensive week of strategic planning, training, and collaboration. After a year of big changes, including a significant transfer of management responsibilities to field staff as we continue to build empowerment for local communities, the meeting provided the perfect opportunity to share lessons learned and advance new initiatives. We're excited to now be integrating the progress, plans, and ideas from this tremendously productive meeting into all of our conservation activities.
The Week in Photographs
To begin, we should be clear that the majority of our week looked like this:
Although these meetings and planning sessions were the scene of our most exciting work, the photos just don't do justice to the accomplishments they represent. So, let's move on to some of the week's more visually interesting events.
|Early in the week, each project site team received a Flip Video™ camera. Staff got great practice filming each other at the summit, and you can see the results on YouTube in the clip that Val (Belize Field Manager) put together. We're looking forward to being able to share more stories from the field through video!|
|Wednesday we visited our project site on the island of Cozumel. We first stopped in at the cruise ship terminal to see the CORAL-sponsored photographic display that is helping to raise conservation awareness for tourists visiting the island.
CORAL staff got to meet with staff from the Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park and do a monitoring dive in the MPA. (A big thanks is due to Sand Dollar Sports for donating equipment for the dive!)
|After the dive, we ate a meal at Las Perlitas, a local restaurant that is helping to deal with the problem of invasive lionfish by serving them to diners. CORAL staff did our part by devouring several dozen of these destructive (and tasty) fish.||
|At the end of the week, Moala (Fiji Field Representative) led a kava ceremony to close the meeting. We are all looking forward to implementing new ideas and strategies in our on-the-ground work and, of course, to the next time we meet again!|