Depending on Access

Traditional communities of the Chesapeake Bay seem to be of a completely different nature than those of the highlands of Peru, but only at first glance. The traditional communities of the Chesapeake like Smith Island are often thought of as the small watermen communities that are in a world of their own because of a stark separation from the modern society. This separation is also found in the community of Parque de la Papa. The separation from the modern world is a problem because of a lack of modern information for disaster relief, medical emergencies and simple construction. Smith Island and Parque de la Papa are in need of outside assistance because of a lack of access to this modern information.

1452509_771691312848034_18129179_nThe women of Parque de la Papa rely on the non profit group ANDES to help market their medicinal products for sale to tourists and other consumers. These women already knew how to grow, harvest and prepare these products, though they lacked access to the knowledge of how to make it a profitable business. ANDES identified this issue and was able to help the women of this community who can now sell their products to make extra money for their families. A similar situation exists in Smith Island with the Smith Island Crabmeat Co-Op. The women of the co-op have turned to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for answers about the disposing of the empty crab shells. The island has also received help from the Army Corps of Engineers to build a bulkhead to help with the island’s erosion. The two communities have become dependent on outside assistance because of a restriction of access to information and education.

Because we are members of a higher education society, we sometimes take the access of information for granted. It is easy for us to take a class on marketing or waste treatment, but it is even easier for us to open up a web browser to find the answer in a matter of seconds. These communities are restricted from the modern flow of information and it is not as much a result of the country in which they are located, but the specific environment in which they live. The lack of access to information stems from the seclusion of these communities to the modern societies.

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