Acceso El Salvador – Carlos Alberto Arriaza, Aquaculture Technician

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A typical day for Carlos Alberto starts bright and early in the morning at Lago Llopango where Carlos examines and assures the health, quality, and quantity of the Tilapia being produced by the Viva Tilapia association. Carlos is a thirty-six-year-old aquaculture technician at Acceso El Salvador. He plays a key role supervising four separate projects and over fifty floating cages guiding producers on how to manage fish including: production plans, feeding schedules, and proper techniques for the health and growth of the fish.

“Before Acceso I saw that the fishers were struggling. They had poor organization with no reliable production or sale cycles and most of them worked illegally. There was no plan for growing and harvesting the fish, so there was no guarantee of production. An added challenge was commercializing the fish produced. The market was unresponsive, so most farmers turned to subsistence farming of corn and beans instead.”

 Acceso has allowed Carlos to work closely with the fishers developing techniques to guarantee year round, abundant production of the fish. He has supported them in obtaining the environmental permits necessary to work legally. This has allowed fishers to improve sales and increase profits.

He says the most gratifying part of his work is being part of a team that is improving the quality of life of hundreds of families with scarce resources by creating productive opportunities while also refining his professional skills. He says Acceso has given them opportunities they would have never received before.

“With Acceso’s assistance we have been able to successfully raise tilapia again and even employ many people to manage the production. They have tripled their production capabilities, selling from $200 to $1800 a month- increasing their incomes considerably. Their quality of life has immensely improved.”

 Carlos dreams of helping Acceso become the biggest national aquaculture company. He also hopes to obtain a master’s degree abroad in the area of aquaculture so he can provide his family with a decent quality of life.