El Salvador Trip 2013 – Part 1

I was asked by the president and coordinator of Tools for Opportunity to attend a recent board meeting and discuss writing a two-day curriculum for craftsmen in El Salvador. They want to be able to teach these talented woodworkers some basic business principles plus show them how power tools can benefit their business. Kreg Tool has donated 10 of their benchtop router tables and Triton routers. They mentioned that they’re planning a trip for October 2013, so any curriculum would need to be fully developed by then.

Craftsman in El Salvador

During this discussion, the board members said that it would be really, really great if I could go and present the classes. I told them I’d have to consider it.

Then, at the end of the two-hour long meeting, I was asked to become a member of the Board of Directors for Tools for Opportunity. I was shocked and humbled to have been asked to join this organization. (Check out their web page to learn more about them.) I’ve known Gene Pedersen, board president, as an associate at August Home Publishing (my “day job” is as a senior editor for Woodsmith and ShopNotes magazines). Another board member, Doug Hicks, was a former vice-president at August Home Publishing. Doug was instrumental in developing and coordinating weekly woodworking seminars at the Woodsmith Store. Doug was the one to get me actively involved in the seminars at the store starting in 2005 and I’m still involved today. So I had a history with these two guys and they know me well. Still, I was surprised to have been asked to join the board.

I’ve now committed to joining the group going to El Salvador in the fall. I already have a passport and a few of the required immunizations. It will be a busy time over the next couple of months writing curriculum and trying to get a crash course in Spanish. My year of Spanish with Miss Biesecker in high school won’t cut it. Fortunately, we’ll have translators during the trip.