What we are, and what we aren’t

La Ceiba is on the verge.
Where do we go from here? Well, we have to ask our clients. Reading the Fisher-Starr article makes me think of how far we have to go to be a ‘real good’ organization. Feel good we have for days, but that’s just what dreams are made of.
Do we have measurable impacts? Well, that’s up to our clients. I don’t feel that we have a metric for our impact. I understand that just saying that is a cop-out. So it goes. I understand we have a team working on developing metrics that attempt to quantify our impact.
Are our impacts cost-effective? I would say that our impacts are anything but. We know that the funds required to send just one La Ceiba member to Honduras nearly exceed the balance of our loan portfolio. One of the caveats to this, is that the advantage of La Ceiba is that by being composed of student volunteers, we are able to capture huge costs savings on labor and research.
Are our impacts self-sustaining? Nope. Not one bit. We could make the argument that our clients may be gaining the skills that they need to grow and develop on their own, but I’m not sure that it’s true. Again, our clients have to tell us if they can go on to reach their goals without La Ceiba there.
Can the model be replicated and reproduced? YES. This is an interesting part of what makes La Ceiba unique. I firmly believe that by the end of this semester, La Ceiba will be in a position to replicate our efforts in another community. The structure of La Ceiba as a student-driven organization lends itself to be replicated at other universities throughout the country.
There is significant questions that arise when you consider whether we have what it takes to be a productive, efficient, client focused institution. You could argue that we lack a mandate from the community. I know that I have reservations about La Ceiba’s relationship with SHH, and their business model.
I’ve got some idea of how to move forward, but we need to tread lightly, do no harm, and let our clients needs drive our services.
Can we get there from here?

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