EcoGuardianes: A Startup Story
EcoGuardianes humble beginnings started as Guardianes de Los Rios; an idea to clean the Tárcoles River. The Tárcoles River is the most contaminated river in Central America and is tied into both environmental and social problems in Cost Rica. But it was soon realized that the problem was far larger than just the river. The problem involved the entirety of the watershed (all the way up the mountains), the human communities that lived there, and the plants and animals that made it their home; the entirety of the ecosystem had to be the focus. And so, the idea of EcoGuardianes was born!
Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, vision with action can change the world.’ For EcoGuardianes to move forward it needed more than just the idea; it needed a plan of action.
The creation of a strategic program plan is not an easy task. It takes time (a lot of it), concentration, and commitment. For days, the ADE staff sat around a table and discussed the future direction of EcoGuardianes. Creating an organization's strategic program plan starts with the creation of the organizations vision and mission statements. These statements describe why the organization exists and, broadly, how they will accomplish their task. Once these were solidified, we moved to EcoGuardianes core values; the values we would hold every step of the rest of the program plan to.
The creation of these statements and values was difficult enough, but next came the arduous task of forming the strategies and establishing each actionable step in the long progression from Vision to on the ground work. The process took much longer than expected. We went through multiple renditions, revisions, and an uncountable number of cups of coffee. But the process was needed and worth it. EcoGuardianes is still in its infancy, but now we know where we want to go and how we are going to get there. Now that the map is drawn, we can start our journey down the untamed road.