Disaster Relief: KIRF’s Nepalese Earthquake Supplies Delivery in May 2015

Kirwin International Relief Foundation logo (registered)KIRF co-founder and disaster relief volunteer Mark Kirwin is flying out to Nepal with a disaster relief volunteer from Ventura Rotary next week, May 12, 2015.

Mark Kirwin’s May 2015 field report from Nepal has been posted on KIRFaidblog.org >

Mr. Kirwin is Cultural Anthropology Adjunct Professor Angela Kirwin’s husband. The Kirwins created their volunteer disaster relief non-profit charity, called “Kirwin International Relief Foundation,” or “KIRF” for short,  after surviving the Andaman Sea tsunami disaster with their children on the coast of southern Thailand on December 26, 2004. After using their own funds and volunteer efforts to help families who lost everything in Thailand, they realized that with the right disaster zone connections and cultural knowledge, they can deliver effective, efficient and locally needed disaster relief. Also, they realized that getting needed disaster supplies into disaster zones quickly and efficiently is still a huge un-met need among the poor and marginalized communities worldwide. Very often disaster relief supplies are diverted away from these communities due to national and local social and political pressures.

Donations made to “KIRF” for Nepal’s earthquake relief will go directly to earthquake survivors in the form of requested building and emergency supplies that will be locally purchased and delivered in Nepal with the donated funds. By purchasing locally, the funds will also help local business owners and their families hit by the earthquake disaster recover. The Kirwin International Relief Foundation is a registered 501(c )(3) non-profit charity in the State of California. Donations are tax deductible.

Updates and photos about this relief effort will be on KIRF’s social media: Twitter.com/KIRFaid  and KIRFaid.org and KIRFaidblog.org

A Conservation Tourism Assessment in Nicaragua: GPS Trail Mapping and Howler Monkey Census

Brick house just before the Papaya Grove and across the street from a rain forest patch

House across the road from a rainforest patch (and home to a group of wild mantled howler monkeys) in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua Photo: AR Kirwin

This post is about an assessment of the local conservation tourism opportunities in Playa Gigante, Nicaragua that I did in the summer of 2013.  Playa Gigante is a small fishing village and, recently an international surf destination, on the Pacific Coast of southern Nicaragua a couple of hours north of the Costa Rican border. This report includes a summary of the social and economic changes that are creating both hardships and opportunities in the town, and the various ecological data on the local howler monkey groups and their food trees and scenic trails that I was able to collect during the assessment.  My complete field report about this project is posted on the blog for the Kirwin International Relief Foundation (KIRFaidblog.org)– a non-profit disaster relief and education organization that I co-founded with my husband in 2005. Our non-profit has been supporting the humanitarian and environmental conservation efforts of two other non-profit organizations who are making a big difference in the town: Project Waves of Optimism and Sweet Water Fund. This was my second visit to Playa Gigante after helping out the local women’s softball team Las Estrellas through Sweet Water Fund and vising the construction of the new Gigante Community Health Center, made possible by local community volunteers and fund raising effort lead by the inspiring group of young surfers at Project Waves of Optimism. Continue reading

Girl in the Jungle: Female Anthropologists & Feminist Dilemmas –Part II

Hortense Powdermaker on Lesu (1920s)

Hortense Powdermaker on Lesu (1920s)

Feminist anthropologists have traditionally studied gender differences, female subordination and traditional feminine roles in a culture.  Early female anthropologists such as Margaret Mead, and Hortense Powdermaker aimed to correct the historically androcentric (male) bias in anthropology.   Later feminist anthropologists such as Annette Weiner, Patricia Zavella, Lila Abu-Lughod and Diane L. Wolf dealt with the contradictions of being a feminist working for social change and anthropologist studying a society as it is. These perceived feminist dilemmas in fieldwork are talked about in their work. Continue reading