Trade Association Meets in Colombia

Trade Association Meets in Colombia

For one exciting week in May, the "SA" in PSAI stood for "South America." The first Portable Sanitation Association International board meeting in South America saw more than 50 attendees from five Central and South American countries gather for education, information and support for the PSAI. Hosted by Carlos and Maria Robles of Bamocol, this gathering represented more than 18 months of planning by these two dedicated international members.

PSAI Certification was offered in Cali and exceeded all expectations. This training class was the largest international session ever offered with 42 candidates participating. Taught in English with Spanish translation, the information that has become so commonplace in North America has now spread to the fast-growing continent of South America. As an instructor, I can say that translation was not a barrier in that classroom. The enthusiasm and the desire to learn transcended the language in which the class was taught. The thirst for knowledge is universal.

Roundtables were held with PSAI board members serving as hosts to eager and attentive members discussing topics that included emergency management, waste treatment, special events and governmental regulation. Two Colombian governmental officials and the American Colombian Chamber of Commerce welcomed the PSAI board and guests.

In an exciting development, our international members plan to replicate the renowned University of Missouri-St. Louis Study from 1986. The thought is that after 25 years, as well as with differences in the Latin versus American culture, the new results will be more relevant to this region of the world.

Tours of Cali, with its population of 2 million, were breathtaking. Tours of the surrounding countryside were equally stunning. In addition to many new buildings and road projects in the area, a growing petroleum and manufacturing base in Colombia underscores the need for proper
portable sanitation.

The enthusiasm, eagerness and hospitality of the Central and South American members has inspired the PSAI board to tentatively schedule the Spring 2013 board meeting in Mexico in order to write the next chapter in this successful story.

The PSAI board meeting in Cali is a definite highlight in both the 40th Anniversary of the PSAI as well as the 20th Anniversary of PSAI Certification. Thank you to Carlos and Maria, to the employees of Bamocol, and to the attendees from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela
and Panama.


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