CE Solutions, formerly Community Enterprise Solutions and now Community Empowerment Solutions, was founded as a US 501c3 organization in May of 2004. Co founders and former Guatemala Peace Corps Volunteers Greg Van Kirk and Bucky Glickley first started CE Solutions as an effort to continue to support a local tourism venture (El Descanso) and community education center (El Centro Explorativo) in Nebaj, Guatemala that Greg founded in 2001 and 2003 respectively with the support of many, many others. It was also their goal to expand the entrepreneurial cook stove distribution model that would later become The MicroConsignment Model.
Since that inception CE Solutions has scaled in breadth and depth. We now work not just in the indigenous Maya communities of Guatemala, but as well in an urban community and textile factory in Haiti, the marginalized bateys of the Dominican Republic, the mountains of Nicaragua, and the jungles of Ecuador. We have also recently launched efforts in Chiapas, Mexico and work with social enterprises in Costa Rica. CE Solutions co creates locally-owned social enterprises with aspiring social entrepreneurs. Together we identify, teach, equip, and support impact-focused entrepreneurs who offer villagers the opportunity to access cook stoves, vision solutions, solar energy solutions, water purification buckets, and other high social impact technologies for the first time in their lives. In addition, we now train community groups in how to form their own banks, teach villagers how to design their own technologies, and provide consulting for other local organizations doing important work in communities. Everything we do is simply focused on using our knowledge, experience and resources to play a positive role in the empowerment of community members in the regions where we work. We are guided by this mission of empowerment, our core values and our passion to work with others to change systems that aren’t working and create opportunities where none previously existed.
CE Solutions has worked with our friends, partners and collaborators to create over $12,000,000 of net economic impact (earnings + productivity gains + cost savings) in over 2,500 communities. Conservatively over 150,000 people have directly benefitted from our efforts. El Descano continues to thrive in the hands of local leadership and El Centro Explorativo has flourished whilst being owned and operated by a local association now in La Pista, Guatemala. But our work continues. We can and need to do more and do better. We hope you will support our efforts.
Everything we decide and do is based upon our mission of playing a value-added role in the empowerment of marginalized, impoverished and vulnerable community members in developing world communities. We have a variety of “tools” in our “toolkit” and we are continually exploring and designing new ways to support the people we serve. But this is easier said than done for organizations such as ours. How do we ensure we are doing no harm? How do we avoid the creep of putting our organizational interests before that of our constituents? How do we make the difficult decisions about the who, what, where, why, how and how much as a team with the limited time and resources we have in the very challenging environments where we work. There is only one way. We have a set of core values that guides everything we do.
We have changed with this new year! Read more about it and what it means: http://www.cesolutions.org/#!greg-letter/udokq