Tashigar North Update, Margarita Island, Venezuela

Dear IDC members,

Greetings from Margarita,

I hope this message finds you well and happy. Here we are fine, with the usual limitations due the current circumstances, some of them more minor problems than before, like the electricity that seems to be more or less regularized.

In terms of economics the country is being dollarized (unofficially) which certainly it is affecting everybody finances, including us. The salaries are still in a very low level and in bolivares. Most people prefer do not work on a payroll as they earn much more taking freelance jobs that they can charge in dollars.

Even though circumstances are difficult, we keep working to maintain the place as much we can. In the last years it became impossible to budget anything. I will try to review our activities in the following report:

 GAKYIL FINANCES, FUNDRAISING AND MEMBERSHIP

As you may be aware, we launched a fundraising event on July 30, 2019, aimed to collect funds to complete our 2020 budget. Being very conservative, I think we can maintain our basic structure running with US$ 12, 000 per year. The intention is to collect at least US$ 8,000 with this campaign. It is not going to be easy, as we are not the only IDC organization running a fundraising event. So far we have collected US$ 2,850  (36% of the target).

 On October 15th we will end the first phase of the campaign. If you have the intention to contribute to our cause, try to do it before that date because all the funds collected until that moment will be delivered in cash to the Tashigar North Gakyil, and the money collected will have almost 30 % more value in current local circumstances than having them in a bank account. Then we will continue the event until December 31st. We really are counting on you!

You can visit this site to know more about this. Read carefully about all the specifications to make your donations possible through PayPal. If you have any doubt you can contact me directly at: rolocb76@gmail.com

https://tashigarnortesecreta.wixsite.com/tdn-fundraising?fbclid=IwAR3XeAEXH2GXjHmmvdjelc9nLo7iTj8eIqNI83_0NNYbcx2tYE2VKnnVxDM

I want to remind all lot and house owners in Tashigar North that you can choose Tashigar North as you Gar of resident and become a member here. This is really important. Our budget is being structured taking into consideration this extra support since 2020. Paying your membership at the international level here will make a huge difference to us as well as keeping you up to date the PCTN Fee.

We want to thank all the people who are showing generosity towards our cause, and helping us to maintain this sacred place for future generations. Thanks also to the IG for a first wire of US$ 2,000 that allowed us to start the restoration of the Gönpa wooden doors and windows. Thanks to Kunsangar North and the Dribselling Gakyil for organizing a collection for us.

RECENT PROJECTS

GÖNPA RESTORATION: Since we were notified about the contribution of the IG for our Gönpa restoration, we start the work 8 weeks ago. We are recovering the doors and windows from deterioration. We also have to restore part of the floor and to fix the electricity connections.

Restoration work

SECURING THE INTERNET TOWER: The only area we had out of remote surveillance (no electric fence or video cameras) was the internet tower placed in the top of the adjacent mountain. A few weeks ago about 200 meters of cable (power supply) and some devices were stolen. So we had to take everything down and redo a new electricity line from the camping kitchen area to the flat mountain (Universal Mandala Meseta) and then to the top. We used some aluminum wire we have around the Gar, a brand new line to bring electricity again to the tower. We used some back up equipment and we built a new electric fence surrounding the tower in the top. We also, with the cooperation of a young local electronic engineer, set up a remote control device to operate the fence, alarms and lighting from home. All the systems are  supported with a power back up installed down next to the Sangkhang. Part of the labor was done as an exchange deal (we will provide internet to the worker who setup the new line). The fee of the engineer was US$100.

New internet tower surrounded by electric fence.

New electricity lines made with recycled aluminium wire.

New lighting post with IP camera to watch the perimeter.

Western surveillance tower with new mosquitero and UPS system.

IMPROVING THE WESTERN SURVEILLANCE POST: There is a little tower on the western side of the Gar, to cover the most vulnerable area we have. All this perimeter line is covered by an intermittently night watch (is one of the posts the walking guard touches per shift) but it is being covered by three IP cameras for 24 hours. We still need one more to cover the lower part of the mountain. Two of these cameras work with an electricity backup system installed in the same tower. We bought a battery for US$110 and spent another US$100 in manpower and materials.

 TRANSFORMER MAINTENANCE: We contacted some workers from the electricity company to give maintenance to our main set of transformers. They charge us US$300 for all the work.  They took them down, changed some bushings, oiled and painted them with anticorrosive paint.

Transformers after the work.

Transformers during maintenance.

 FREE FROM FEAR: Our Project aimed to relieve the suffering of stray cats and dogs keeps growing. The Gakyil has recently decided to give use of one of the rooms from our “Posada” as a permanent place to treat ambulatory cases that require medical attention. Also, it will host further sterilization events that are being permanently scheduled during these last years since the project started. If you want to contribute to this particular project, please contact Marina to kashkurova@gmail.com.

RENTAL PROJECT: Previously we tried to run a project to rent the houses located inside the Gar. As tourism in general is declining, we did not have the expected response. Now we are trying to rent “Casa Diego” located at Zaragosa beach, using as a commercial partner a local operator installed directly in the beach, next to the house.

I don’t want to finish this report without inviting you all to come. Here we have plenty space to offer according to different possibilities, from free comfortable rooms to some fancy rentable spaces. We are a little group, we have the courage and desire to keep doing our best for Tashigar North, our home, this place we all love, but we really feel refreshed each time someone visits us. I know there is fear, but we are here right? Really, and this is very personal, I don’t think there is a risk in visiting us for a short period. Many of you told me not until the regime changes, but honestly, when is this happening? We just don’t know. I trust impermanence, but it is not an easy thing, we don’t know when and how.

 

Love,
Rolo Carrasco
TdN Yellow Gakyil

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