Tomorrow I take the next big step in my project for PAG. I will be meeting with the whole team in a town called Libertad (about 1.5 hours away from Siguatepeque). The goal is to explain the systematization, conduct written interviews with different members of the team, and have a focus group discussion.
I spent the last week at the Proyecto office here in Sigua trying to figure out what exactly the systematization should look like. It turns out that the concept is not just the broad, all encompassing term that I thought it was. The concept of systematizing experiences has had a long history in Latin America. It started in the 60s among professionals who were working with popular groups implementing projects and actions that aimed at improving their life and/or their socio-political situation. Systematization helped social programs in Latin America survive the massive political upheavals that happened during the 60s and 70s. The process of systematization lost some steam in the 70s during all the political turmoil but it returned full force in the 80s and gained popularity in the 90s. Luckily for me, Action Aid compiled the essential documents for systematization and translated them into English. It has been incredibly helpful.
I'm definitely looking forward to the big meeting tomorrow in Libertad. I'm terrified of having to speak so much Spanish, although the whole staff has been very patient with me. It should be a long meeting seeing as we have to cover all of PAG's different projects including mother/infant health education, sanitation projects, microcredit projects, HIV/AIDS education, and medicine distribution.