Research

Rene Mendoza

Articles and research by Dr. René Mendoza:

How to keep from tripping over the same stone twice? René Mendoza Vidaurre[1] If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out (Jesús, Lc 29.40) “I already saw that movie”, said the drunk, on seeing the animation of the lion that roars at the beginning of many movies. In the beginning of the 1990s, dozens … Continue reading How to keep from tripping over the same stone twice?
Community, that circular mobilizing utopia René Mendoza Vidaurre[1] Utopia is on the horizon. I walk two steps, and it moves away two steps, and the horizon runs ten steps further. So what good does utopia serve? For that, for walking. Eduardo Galeano (1940-2015) Once they discover the strength of the community, they will be able … Continue reading Community, that circular mobilizing utopia
Sugar cane in peasant-indigenous resistance René Mendoza Vidaurre and Héctor Peña Martínez[1] Son to his Father: old man, you are not making money on the blocks of sugar; you are just doing it to work. Father: Yes, I was raised in this and I miss it. Mom: And where do you think our clothes come … Continue reading Sugar cane in peasant-indigenous resistance
There is no chocolate without organized family agriculture René Mendoza Vidaurre[1] Eve left the Garden of Eden over chocolate! Anonymous. Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. Forrest Gump The exodus of the people of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land, the Bible says, had … Continue reading There is no chocolate without organized family agriculture
René Mendoza Vidaurre[1] You cannot direct the wind, but you can change the direction of the sails. Chinese Proverb Let the wind blow and carry you where it will. Bible saying. “Our problem, says A. Argueta, from the COMAL network (Honduras), is that our offspring do not want to know about agriculture; many times in … Continue reading Can the youth fall in love with the countryside again?
The height of injustice is to be deemed just when you are not. Plato With an open treasure, even the most righteous sins. Saying. The VII song of the Odyessy tells how the goddess Circe warned Ulysses that the sailors of those waters were so enchanted by the song of the sirens that they went … Continue reading TOWARD THE RE-INVENTION OF “FAIR TRADE” by René Mendoza Vidaurre
Cooperativism, a means for an arduous peace in a space of ‘conflict’ René Mendoza Vidaurre[1] War is the continuation of politics by other means.  Clausewitz (1780-1831) My husband and son were killed in the war. I was left with a little bit of land. The cooperative was like my husband. I supported myself in it … Continue reading Cooperativism, a means for an arduous peace in a space of ‘conflict’
Awaking to normality, an antidote for market control René Mendoza Vidaurre[1] “I am fine”, he says, while in the jaws of an alligator. Popular saying. Every cloud has its silver lining. Old saying. The parable of the “boiling frog” says that if we put a frog in a pot of boiling water, the frog will … Continue reading Awaking to normality, an antidote for market control
Organized communities are valuable, very valuable! René Mendoza Vidaurre[1] We dedicate this article to Eduvijes Sánchez[2] Where your treasure is, there will your heart be. Bible (Mt 6.21) Whenever your drink water, remember its source. Chinese Proverb “The cooperatives and associations are dividing the communities”, “organizations are a big doorway through which two or three … Continue reading Organized communities are valuable, very valuable!
A cooperative that regulates markets René Mendoza V., With Sulma Y. Leiva, Rigoberto Martínez and Ruperto Mejía[1] It is easy to stop one person, but difficult to stop 100.  When people discover the power of community and the transforational force of Christianity, nothing can stop them. Héctor Gallegos   Many cooperatives in Latin America tend … Continue reading A cooperative that regulates markets
Toward the second generation of Fair Trade René Mendoza Vidaurre[1] The highest reach of injustice is to be deemed just when you are not. Plato Even the most righteous man sins in the face of an open treasure. Maxim. The VII song of the Odyessy tells of the myth of Ulysses. He was warned by the … Continue reading Toward the second generation of Fair Trade
The Paris agreements on climate change: A path for saving the planet? René Mendoza Vidaurre[1] Pick up a rock in your hand and close you fist around it until it begins to beat, live, speak and move. Sámi Poem When the waves of the ocean hit our chest, at the same time we feel a current of … Continue reading The Paris agreements on climate change: A path for saving the planet?
Reducing inequality in land access, a way of contributing to gender equity? René Mendoza V., René Rodríguez F., Ruth Aguilar P., Selmira Flores and María A. Sieza Summary Currently there are more women that have access to land, but their access continues to be unequal: women control 13.3% of total land. Most of their properties … Continue reading Reducing inequality in land access, a way of contributing to gender equity?
We have to expand our thinking to understand the conflicts on the Coast  René Mendoza Vidaurre  This researcher into the rural—and particularly indigenous—world shares his unique perspective on the cultural aspects of the North Caribbean Coast’s indigenous and mestizo populations that underlie the land and other conflicts heating up there.  I have visited the Caribbean … Continue reading We have to expand our thinking to understand the conflicts on the Coast
Innovating with land leasing René Mendoza Vidaurre * Where water passes, there is life (E. Valdés S.J.) In a previous article we invited people to search for alternatives for the so-called “Central American dry corridor”, a zone that is an expression of the effects of climate change and social injustice in the region, part of … Continue reading Innovating with land leasing
The drought: social injustice and the opportunity for change René Mendoza Vidaurre* “Behind adversities are opportunities” goes the saying. After the rust that affected thousands of families working in the coffee chain, repeatedly we heard about the adversities of the drought: “the first planting season was lost”, “the families´food reserves have been used up”, “the … Continue reading The drought: social injustice and the opportunity for change
The Geo-strategic vision moves mountains René Mendoza Vidaurre There was a long drought. The harvest dried up. The leaves on the grapevines turned black. The town went hungry, like fish thrown on the side of the river, drowning without air. There was a man with a smile and a contagious joy. A group came up to him and … Continue reading The Geo-strategic vision moves mountains
Towards intelligent farming René Mendoza Vidaurre and Edgar Fernández Talking about innovation is in style. It tends to be presented as an accumulation of useful things for the market, defining it as resulting from the economy and as a matter of engineering, without responding to the question of the why and for what end these … Continue reading Towards intelligent farming
  The leap of the century, the challenge of the municipality of Palacagüina René Mendoza, Edgar Fernández and Ramón García * The dogs in the village of Riito in the municipality of Palacagüina, on hearing the noise of a motor, come out barking wildly in pursuit of the vehicle; when they finally reach it , … Continue reading The leap of the century, the challenge of the municipality of Palacagüina
LEAN: a method for improving businesses and cooperatives René Mendoza V., Steve Sheppard and Mark Lester* We are not ants that come in and only take a grain of sand, carry it, pile it up and dig a hole. We come in, we take the grain of sand, we carry it, we pile it up … Continue reading LEAN: a method for improving businesses and cooperatives
“Open book management” in cooperatives” René Mendoza, Steve Sheppard and Mark Lester* Two sailors were at sea. A storm blew up. The boat was rocking. One of the sailors hurried to tie things down, while the other just watched and moved with the storm. The first said, “if we don´t save the boat we will … Continue reading “Open book management” in cooperatives”
“Open Books” innovation in business René Mendoza, Steve Sheppard y Mark Lester* Information should not be a tool of power, it should be a means of education Jack Stack Jack Stack,[i] and hundreds of employees turned into the owners of the Springfield Remanufacturing Corporation, innovated in 1980 the “the Game of Business”, known as “open … Continue reading “Open Books” innovation in business
Autonomy and the Multiethnic Country in Decisive Moments René Mendoza Vidaurre, Nora Sánchez, Celia Benjamín, Jairo Zelaya. Klaus Kuhnekath and Alejandro Pikitle* Mahoney (2001)[i] defines “critical juncture” as the moment of contingency in which a decision is made for one of various options, an institution that is self-reinforcing and that is challenged through the processes … Continue reading Autonomy and the Multiethnic Country in Decisive Moments
Economic diversification, a way to erradicate poverty by René Mendoza Vidaurre and Edgar Fernández The United Nations declared 2014 as the International year of Family Farming, and 2015 as the International Year of Soils. In Latin America and the Caribbean 80% of the agricultural exploitations are family farms, including more than 60 million people. Family … Continue reading Economic diversification, a way to erradicate poverty
The urgent need to re-invent the “fair trade movement” René Mendoza Vidaurre The Fair Trade movement (FT) started in 1964 within the framework of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Since then a number of European countries promoted the UNCTAD stores, selling products from developing countries. Then the “solidarity store” chain got … Continue reading The urgent need to re-invent the “fair trade movement”
 Microcredit, the innovation of the century René Mendoza Vidaurre *   There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. . (Niccolo Machiavelli, 1532, The Prince)   Grameen Bank (“village bank”) … Continue reading Microcredit, the innovation of the century
Internal governance and the role of cooperatives in Central American rural society René Mendoza V., E. Fernández, K. Kuhnekath, J. Bastiaensen, and A.J. García[1] Thanks to Picketty (2014) the topic of inequality became an issue again in our days. Nevertheless, markets, technology, skills and social relations are formed and decided in institutions and organizations that … Continue reading Internal governance and the role of cooperatives in Central American rural society
Innovating in beekeeping makes humanity better in times of climate change René Mendoza V., Edgar Fernández and Yeris Lanzas   “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then humanity would only have four years of life left” Albert Einstein  Recently there has been a worldwide alarm about bees. They produce honey and … Continue reading Innovating in beekeeping makes humanity better in times of climate change
Innovating in light of the “social jukebox” René Mendoza Vidaurre and Ronie Zamor   “The policies can be good, but not work; it is like we put a coin in the jukebox, choose a song, and a different one plays” (X. Gorostiaga sj, 1983).  What is happening with the “social jukebox” that transforms policies and … Continue reading Innovating in light of the “social jukebox”
Universities and their debt to society René Mendoza V.[1]   The Figure of the two burros is illustrative: there is food for both, but they are individually struggling with one another under the idea of “everyone for yourself” and “the law of the jungle”, and in the end neither eats, until they see one another, … Continue reading Universities and their debt to society
“Passing on the gift”, an innovative mechanism for erradicating poverty René Mendoza V. and Abemelet J. García   “These hungry children do not need a glass of milk, but a cow” (Dan West, 1938)  An innovative mechanism for erradicating poverty is “passing on the gift”, a mechanism invented 70 years ago. We describe it in … Continue reading “Passing on the gift”, an innovative mechanism for erradicating poverty
Innovation in a providential society René Mendoza Vidaurre and Edgar Fernández[1]  A teacher invited his disciple to drink some tea. They spoke for awhile. The teacher served the tea, and even when the cup was full, continued pouring it; the tea spilled onto the floor. His disciple, surprised, said to him, “Teacher! The tea is … Continue reading Innovation in a providential society
Discovering consists in looking at the same thing as everyone sees it, and thinking something different Albert Szent-Györgyi, Nobel in Physics  “It is not ideas, but interests, material and ideal, that immediately govern the conduct of men. But the “images of the world” created by the “ideas”have with great frequency determined, like switchmen, the rails … Continue reading Innovation in Latin America: worldvisions and the force of markets
”The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” (Michelangelo)   In recent years the magical word for generating development has been productivity, and it has been said that the path to it is innovation. … Continue reading Innovation, a path for improving our societies?
Reinventing cooperativism for a world of migrants Rene Mendoza V., PhD[1] A thousand mile journey begins with a single step. Lao Tse Currently surprising is a type of migration, reverse migration, where the destination country is at war (Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan), and the country of origin is a developed country: more than three thousand children … Continue reading Reinventing cooperativism for a world of migrants
Can societies counteract the environmental and climate crisis? René Mendoza V. and Peter Marchetti*   We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that we had when we created them. Albert Einstein The Second Earth Summit in Johannesburg in 2002 ended with the Sustainable Development accords signed in the first Earth Summit in Rio … Continue reading Can societies counteract the environmental and climate crisis?
Collective action on terrain where things are getting complicated: Case of Peñas Blancas René Mendoza V.  The framework of coordination, science, ecology and economics, along with collective action, worked for reading the case of Miraflor in the last article. Now we are studying the case of Peñas Blancas (municipality of El Cuá), located over 1,000 … Continue reading Collective action on terrain where things are getting complicated: Case of Peñas Blancas
Collective action on terrain where things are getting complicated: Case of Miraflor René Mendoza V. *   In the previous article (“Coordination and collective action to mitigate the impact of climate change”) we worked on the framework of coordination, science, ecology and economics in the case of the CamBIO project in Central America. Now we … Continue reading Collective action on terrain where things are getting complicated: Case of Miraflor
Coordination and collective action to mitigate the impact of climate change: the case of the regional project CamBIO René Mendoza Vidaurre  “if you think one year ahead, you will plant a seed…if you think 10 years ahead, you will plant a tree “. Chinese poet, 500 AC  In response to the question about what practices … Continue reading Coordination and collective action to mitigate the impact of climate change: the case of the regional project CamBIO
Coordination and collective action for mitigating the impact of climate change: the case of the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador René Mendoza V. *   What practices contribute to the climate given the crisis of climate change? Apart from measures concerning the use and supply of energy related to construction, transport and industry, and the elimination … Continue reading Coordination and collective action for mitigating the impact of climate change: the case of the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador
The importance of peasant agriculture for Climate Change René Mendoza V. *  Francisco Cruz, a small scale producer from the community of Peñas Blancas (in the municipality of El Cua) said: “Coffee is taking more time to ripen, it is now January 5th and the rainy season continues here.” INETER announced at the end of … Continue reading The importance of peasant agriculture for Climate Change
                                                          Collective and Shared Leadership Antidote for a society dependent on bosses and patrons René Mendoza V.[1], rmvidaurre@gmail.com   Leadership is a choice, not a position. Stephen R. … Continue reading Collective and Shared Leadership: Antidote for a society dependent on bosses and patrons
Innovation leads to productivity, the greatest challenge in the era of sustainable development The experience of the “sandal clad innnovators”[1] René Mendoza V. and Edgar Fernández[2]   Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth. Archimedes (287-212 ac) Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. Albert Einstein … Continue reading Innovation leads to productivity, the greatest challenge in the era of sustainable development: The experience of the “sandal clad innnovators”
The image of indigenous peoples: Beyond development? René Mendoza V. and Edgar Fernández   Today is loaded with yesterday, yesterday with the day before, and tomorrow with today Mayan Thought   The day they have poisoned the last river, cut down the last tree, and murdered the last animal, they will realize that money cannot … Continue reading The image of indigenous peoples: Beyond development?
René Mendoza V.[1]   Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead   Why do institutions like NITLAPAN exist? What is the purpose of the people working in such institutions? Why do people go to institutions of higher education? … Continue reading Immersion, Insertion, Writing and Dialogue A Path for Learning for Territorial Development
“Business women? They are storefront owners, cookie makers, and beauticians, they are not business women,”stated the Mayor. The woman business leader responded, “If nacatamales do not work, they do tortillas filled with cheese, and if that doesn´t, they do something else, they search carefully, they are business women! Note that the Mayor uses the concept … Continue reading The gravitational force of ideas and the force at our feet?
René Mendoza V. and Edgar Fernández With the collaboration of Wilber Martínez, Edmundo López, Yeris Lanzas, Hulda Miranda, Eliseo Miranda, Pablo Gurdián y Misael Gurdián  I trusted my land, what I put into it, it gave back to me; for some years now it has become unreliable; now my coffee field is sick. It was … Continue reading Attack the coffee rust or make the peasant economy viable?
René Mendoza V, René Gómez F., Marcelo Rodríguez, Manuel Bermúdez and Edgar Fernández Coffee rust, a disease produced by the Hemileia vastatrix fungus, according to CONCAFE is going to affect 30% of the coffee area which is 172,000 manzanas, according to FUNICA the coffee harvest from this cycle will be 400,000-500,000 quintals smaller, and also due … Continue reading Coffee rust: A challenge for rethinking agricultural production
By René Mendoza and Edgar Fernández “ We are supporting a family that is a member of a milk cooperative; the cooperative has enormous capital earnings but it has members in extreme poverty”, said an aid worker. This type of paradoxes also occur in coffee, transportation, savings and loan cooperatives. Reviewing the experiences of cooperatives … Continue reading The Cooperatives need to reinvent themselves
By: René Mendoza V. and Edgar Fernández  – You received a number of trainings and technical assistance, and continue producing the same amount as before. Haven´t they done anything for you? – Yes, they helped, but we are not using them – Why? – Some for lack of money for urea, others because they do … Continue reading The challenge of productivity: matter of luck, resources, attitude, institutions?
“The institutional perspective explains the present through its origins… [and] says that past events determine the course of history. An opposing perspective is the voluntarist perspective that says that everything can change by decision of the actors.” WPF: The following article, authored by Rene Mendoza, Edgar Fernandez and Klaus Kuhnekath, reflects a key issue for … Continue reading Path-dependent institution or social indetermination: Critical geneology of the crop lien system in coffee
When cooperatives are talked about in Latin America, the gaze goes toward Nicaragua, particularly when it is about agricultural cooperatives. In Nicaragua agricultural cooperatives mostly means “coffee cooperatives” and “milk cooperatives”. And in talking about coffee cooperatives the reference is to the north and central part of the country where a good number of organizations … Continue reading The coffee cooperatives of Nicaragua: Competing for coffee capital with the large enterprises?
“Fair trade” has to do with various products, but coffee makes up the great majority (70%). Small producers in Latin America also produce 70% of the total coffee produced in the region, and “fair trade” is tied to organized small producers. What does this mean? This question gains relevance in the current situation of crisis … Continue reading The coffee cooperatives in Nicaragua: A point of reference for Latin America and fair trade international?
WPF: This article is one result of a recent study of cooperativism in Nicaragua undertaken by Rene Mendoza and Edgar Fernandez on behalf of Winds of Peace Foundation.  It offers a hopeful perspective with regard to the current growth of cooperatives and what they are capable of achieving on behalf of their members. Boom of … Continue reading The Boom of the Coffee Cooperatives: Sign that they are “riding on”?
From the introduction: The cooperative movement grew inspired in the basic values of mutual aid, responsibility, democracy, equality and solidarity, and the ethical values of honesty, transparency, social responsibility and concern for others. So it expanded from attempts to improve the distribution of earnings among the workers and to socialize the means of production, trying to … Continue reading The Associativity Route as a Driver of Development: Study on Cooperatives in the Central Northern area of Nicaragua