Workshop on Improving Economic Opportunity in the Sierra Laguna Region presented in La Paz

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The goal of the workshops is to improve the living conditions of the communities of Sierra Laguna, which has had had a long history of involvement with Baja California Sur’s mining industry, through elf-knowledge and self-empowerment. The workshops are sponsored by ASUDES, a foundation supported by The Concordia Project, which is a Mexican mining company in the process of seeking a permit to operate a new mine in the area, is sponsoring the workshops as a result of its commitment following the principles of the 3P (People, Planet, Prosperity) approach which is intended to bring direct and indirect work to the region, as well as business opportunities, improved health care, and educational and vocational programs.

“This is one of several steps Concordia is taking to work closely with the mining communities to help bring opportunity and social and economic progress to Baja California Sur. -- Hector Araya Muñoz, General Manager, Concordia Project

On February 17, 2011, representatives from the El Triunfo, San Antonio, and El Rosario met in La Paz at the Palmira Hotel at 10:30 am to participate in a workshop that discussed efforts to improve the quality of life for residents of the Sierra Laguna area. The name of the newly formed association they have recently formed is Amanecer de la Sierra.

The three towns have come together for the first time to provide a unified voice in matters that concern the future of the Sierra Laguna region, which has had had a long history of involvement with Baja California Sur’s mining industry. In recent years, and in the absence of mining work, they found their standard of living declining. The goal of the workshops is to improve the living conditions of the people of Sierra Laguna thorough self-knowledge and self-empowerment. The workshops are sponsored by ASUDES, a foundation supported by The Concordia Project, which is a Mexican mining company in the process of seeking a permit to operate a new mine in the area, is sponsoring the workshops as a result of its commitment following the principles of the 3P (People, Planet, Prosperity) approach which is intended to bring direct and indirect work to the region, as well as business opportunities, improved health care, and educational and vocational programs.

Attended by approximately 15 people from the mining towns of El Triunfo, San Antonio, and El Rosario, all chosen by residents of the communities themselves. The workshop is an invitation-only event but a public presentation of its results will be offered following the workshop. Participants will also include representatives from El Parlamento Ciudadano Sudcaliforniano, Consejo Coordinador Empresarial, municipal government representatives, and other interested parties who will discuss creative ways to develop business partnerships between Amanecer de la Sierra and influential leaders in the Municipality of La Paz, which includes the three mining towns.

According to Héctor Araya, the General Manager of The Concordia Project, “This is one of several steps Concordia is taking to work closely with the mining communities to help bring opportunity and social and economic progress to Baja California Sur. It is further evidence of the commitment we have made to the Sierra Laguna communities, one that will continue far into the future.”

The workshop is the second of three that will be presented in 2011, all led by Balam Ibarra, one of the most successful community outreach consultants in Mexico. His work advances community development through providing self-employment opportunities, social enterprise opportunities, and employment opportunities to struggling communities who are working to break the cycle of poverty in their communities.

At a post-workshop presentation, the results of Balam’s team’s in-depth socio-economic study of the mining communities will be presented. The two workshops to follow will present further results as the program continues.

About ASUDES:
ASUDES is a nonprofit Foundation, established by Vista Gold and Concordia to provide community services to people who live in the region.

For more information visit http://www.ASUDES.org

About Concordia:
The Concordia Project, a subsidiary of Vista Gold Corp., is a Mexican company that embraces the three pillars of the 3BL approach to social enterprise: People, Planet, and Prosperity. It is currently in the process of seeking a permit from the government to operate a mine in Baja California Sur.

For more about Concordia’s vision for BCS, visit http://www.proyectoconcordia.com.

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Hector Araya Muñoz
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