About a year ago three corros, choirs in the community decided to make a CD. The plan was to sell the CD of their traditional music with their artisan goods. From what I understand – my most used phase, as much is lost in translation or has a complicated history – it was a long process. A German company donated their time to come to the community to record the choirs. They’re actually a pretty incredible organization called Camping Bus Records that goes to small villages in South America with a mobile recording studio to give musicians the opportunity to record their music and jam with them. If you’d like to see an awesome short one minute glimpse of the recording session click here.

A local company also assisted in the process and offered to make 600 copies. The CD, with the title Los Sonidos del Agua, Water Sounds, the translation of the name of the community (Yryapu) finally finished today.

Even though I was not a part of the lengthy process and all the hard work, I was still so happy to be there when the CDs were given out. I was so proud of the community and MATE to have completed the journey. Being there for the presentation of the CD and listening to the recording for the first time with leaders of the choirs was really special.

The community already has an offer from a company to purchase 100 of the CDs to sell in their store.

After celebrating the presentation of the CDs the leaders of the choirs, Claudio and myself gathered at the escuelita to discuss the administrative and buisness unpleasantries. As previously mentioned, no one in the community completed high school and thus none have taken an accounting or basic business course. The leaders did not think of saving a portion of the profits in order to produce more CDs. It had to be stressed that CDs would not be donanted again. Claudio politely and delicately explained this. As always, Claudio is very careful not to impose ideas of how the community should spend their profits or use their resources. Instead, he offers suggestions while always making clear they can decide for themselves if they wish to use the idea, modify it, or chose another way entirely. This is a fundamental aspect of MATE. It is also reinforced to the community almost daily and to toursits as well.  This is what differentiates MATE from other organisations in the area who work with indigenous communities. MATE is not a business – it is an organisation that is walking the first steps with the community to create a self-run tourism company and then will eventually leave. MATE felt that it was their duty to inform them of the need to save the profits to reinvest, but the actual administration has to come from the community. I think the concept of saving to produce more CDs was understood and agreed upon. However, at the meeting, they did finalize who would take the responsibility of keeping the books, nor was the price of the CD to sell determined. Hopefully this will be sorted out by the leaders in time and the CDs will continue to be available for purchase for many years.

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