MULTICULTURAL BIOEDUCATOR NETWORK
The group formally known as the Red Multicultural de Bioeducadores de La Amistad Caribe, or simply "bioeducators", composed of members of 4 indigenous ethnias spread across our service area from the Rio Chirripo Atlantico in Costa Rica at the western end to Panama’s Rio Changuinola in the east, has evolved over the years. The original idea was (and remains) for the members of the group to produce a multiplier effect by carrying out independent assessments of stream health, especially in the remoter reaches of the indigenous territories where it is costly and time-consuming for us to visit regularly.
However members of the group have spontaneously taken on other functions. Apart from their obvious role in routine stream monitoring and reporting bioeducators have:
We originally conceived of the group as “parataxonomists” (think paramedic or paralegal), but at a 2013 meeting the group, that was too limiting and settled on "bioeducator" as best describing what they wanted to be and accomplish. Essentially bioeducators are "on call" according to needs identified by their communities or the ANAI program. A major limitation is financing. We do not see "bioeducator" as a full time job description, but we would like to provide more employment than we presently can. A reasonable goal is to be able to offer each bioeducator 50 days of paid work annually. Until we achieve that goal we will not have achieved the potential of the most powerful community involvement tool we have yet devised.