Day 147

Making the most of our time left at the Chol Chol Foundation

As we’re nearing a month left, Nick and I have revisited our master list of projects we’re hoping to finish by the time we leave the Foundation; the master list we created our first week here! Time goes too quickly! I swear a month ago I was thinking, “Oh, we have so much time to get these things done!” But now is the time to put our nose to the grindstone and finish them up!

Sarah’s To-Do List

  • Catalog Revamp: This is singlehandedly my biggest project left. We’ve started taking new photos so that everything has a consistent look, and I’ve created a rough outline. Kaelig (the new French volunteer) has a photographer for a father, so he is going to help me with the product photos. This will help me out tremendously to begin designing all the layouts. Susana also loved the idea of having the catalog as an e-book on the site where you can “flip” through the pages. I thought this was impossible until I found a cool WordPress plugin that should work for their site.
  • Continued Social Media Activity: This is something that I need to prep to hand over to Yasmin soon. Right now, I’m keeping the posts as 2x a week on Facebook and Instagram primarily, with Twitter as well. I’m also hoping to get some Instagram highlights set for them about different parts of the process, since I have all the footage. And, if I have time, I’d love to create :30 videos from the footage that I have about the artisans. The social media activity is one thing that I am worried is going to fall off when I leave.
  • Capturing footage of Nancy Epulef for the Manta Cacique project: I’ll detail this more in a later post, but we’re helping digitize a traditional method of making a certain type of textile.
  • Brand Guidelines/Style Guide: Yasmin and Susana requested a style guide/handbook for them to reference in using the new logo, brand colors, and fonts.
  • Figure out what the HECK is going on with their website hosting: It’s bad, it’s really bad. I’ve had so many back-and-forth emails with the current companies, and it’s a bit of a mess. I’m hoping to do some research and propose some alternatives for their website to run smoothly and securely.
  • Migrate the team to Google Drive: Whew, when Kaelig started, that was an eye-opener. There are some “starter” documents to give new volunteers some background on the Foundation. But there were files on random drives, some on YouTube, others from people’s own computer hard drive — I think it will be easiest for everyone to start using the drive (which I think they are onboard with), especially since they get a good amount with their Google for Non-Profits account.
  • Logo and collateral for the Fair Trade Festival: The Foundation is hosting a Fair Trade Festival in November, and they need a logo, poster, flyer, bag design, etc. I’ve started some preliminary designs, but luckily this is also something that I’m happy to continue as I return home and work with them via email.
  • Continued changes to the website: I mentioned in this post of the phases of the website design changes. Having the catalog online will complete phase 2, and then phase 3 is smaller, cosmetic changes to the pages and site, as well as adding the ability to make donations to Chol Chol through the PayPal button, since Nick figured out that process a couple weeks back.
  • One more artisan video: Better late than never? Oscar, who creates jewelry, saw all the videos from Fair Trade Day and asked if it was possible to get a video made of his work. Of course, Oscar.
  • Aaaaand miscellaneous design requests: these include an email template for future events, postcards for artisan fairs, new designs for the skeins of wool, pamphlet for custom orders, investigation of travel sites and driving them to the museum store – lots of things!

As I type out this list, I’m realizing how much there is to be done. But something I have to remind myself is that I can continue to do a lot of these items when I return via email. One of my New Years Resolutions was to do more good with design, and I can see myself continuing to support the Chol Chol Foundation for years – and it’s something I’d be happy to do.

Nick’s To-Do List

  • IFAM Application: Now that Susana has selected Sandra and Franco, I’ve sent them questions to be answered. I’ve gotten a response from Sandra that I’m starting to translate and work into the application. Still awaiting some answers from Franco, but hopefully I can get the first draft completed in early June, allowing time for Susana to review and then get submitted a week or so later.
  • Volunteer Intake & Onboarding: I’ve created a bit of a volunteer intake process, but it’s current in English. I need to translate it over to Spanish and then work with Susana to ensure that the process is in place going forward. Also, to Sarah’s point above on Google Drive, I’ll assist her so that they have a Volunteer Onboarding packet that can help get volunteers quickly up to speed
  • Donation Planning: As we’ve mentioned, through fundraising efforts, we were able to donate $27,000 to Chol Chol for various projects. Now that the funds have been deposited, I’ll work with Susana to help plan for how these funds can be used in 2019 and beyond.
  • Partnership Opportunities: Throughout the time volunteering, I’ve been looking for opportunities for the Chol Chol Foundation to get involved with some other groups that sell artisan goods. I’m hoping to ignite at least one partnership, but communication has been minimal between some of them. Recently got an email from “The Little Market” – so fingers crossed that I can work with them to get the information they need to hopefully start purchasing from Chol Chol.
  • Productivity / Product Pricing: Similar to the volunteer intake process, I need to convert my Excel file that shows the “hour wages” of the artisans over to Spanish so that this can be something that the foundation monitors going forward.
  • Volunteer Website Portals: Chol Chol has been trying to get on UniversalGiving.org so that they can solicit volunteers on our behalf. I’m awaiting on some financial information about the foundation, but then should be able to work with representatives from Universal Giving to get this finally up and running!
  • Research Foundations in the US focused on Empowering Women: One of Arturo’s requests for us was to potentially get involved once we’re back in the States on securing some more consistent funding for Chol Chol through a US-based foundation, most likely ones that focus on empowering women around the globe. Chol Chol has trouble receiving funding because they are located in an economically stable country. However, the region in which the Mapuche live is far from economically rich, and there are definite needs here. So we need to research various avenues.  
  • Other Duties as Assigned: Like Sarah, I receive one-off requests from Susana. Most times, they involve someone emailing her (in English) about an opportunity to partner, and she forwards to me to have me vet whether this is worth their time. Another example, was WFTO asked Chol Chol to complete a survey (in English), so Susana had me work with her to come up with appropriate (and in proper English) responses. Lastly, I’ll get random “countryside” requests, like ensuring the wood-burning stoves are lit to keep everyone warm, or cleaning up a dead bird. You know, the good stuff.
  • Annnnnd, as always, being Sarah’s assistant: I’ll accompany Sarah to those visits with Nancy and Oscar to help with video/audio recording, and will assist with some of the catalog organization, as well as jump in for the Google Drive file setup, etc.

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