Don Elmar about The Chocolate Road
12. April 2016
Happy #tourism4development #IY2017
1. January 2017

Commitment has no limits … does it?

Kerstin beim Filmschneiden

Who doesn’t know the feeling: You are enthusiastic about something and try with all your might to achieve the best results for your hearts concern. But what if your „might“ is limited?

The story of destination:development is a success story. This is why I, Kerstin, would like to talk quite openly today about limitations we are facing – just as any other young organisation does.

All beginnings are difficult, so they say, but I don’t quite agree. The beginning of every new project is charmed by the energy of new beginnings. You dream big, infect others with your ideas and find committed supporters. In order to get that far, you have already learned a lot and deserve to enjoy this exciting phase. However, the magic of new beginnings doesn’t last forever, and this is, when beginnings start getting difficult.

With the Chocolate Road as pilot project, destination:development has launched like a rocket. Not only have we hit a nerve with our topic and were able to win a respectable number of supporters, we also did a good job, and this generates expectations – in us as well as in our supporters.

I confess I am still a perfectionist. This is why I find it very hard to allow myself the thought that maybe not all of these expectations will be met in the future due to a lack of resources.

My current struggle with technology is a perfect example. After we returned from Bolivia and handed over the project plan for the Chocolate Road to El Ceibo last December, I couldn’t wait to finally start working on our documentary about the Chocolate Road. But nothing ever goes according to plan. My laptop, my faithful and reliable companion over the past years, could not handle a modern film cutting software anymore. The destination:development team drew all their problem solving tricks out of their pockets – computers were lent and borrowed, newly installed and upgraded, but unfortunately, none of it was successful. It was not until we received an unexpected and very generous donation in form of a used MacBook that the documentary was saved. At this point I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to our saviour, who would like to remain anonymous. Nevertheless, this delay means that our film-sponsors will have to wait until June for the VIP premiere of our documentary.


The lack of financial resources is a limitation young organizations encounter rather quickly, directly followed by the lack of time. Since the beginning of March I am now dedicating every free minute – which is every minute I do not spend at work – to the production of our documentary. I truly love the work, but it is also extremely time consuming. The reason for that is another limitation: lack of knowledge. It is the first time I produce a documentary and I am faced by new challenges every day. Even though the lack of knowledge is my favourite limitation, because I can actively make it disappear, I am paying for it with time – a scarce commodity.

In spite of all limitations I would like to summarize my experience with a series of affirmations:

  • Yes, it is worth it to dedicate yourself fully to something you believe in.
  • Yes, you will encounter (your) limitations, which will cause you irritation and sometimes simply suck.
  • Yes, irritation is always the beginning of a learning process and will trigger growth.
  • Yes, you will have to let go of your perfectionism. Sorry.
  • And yes, healthy growth takes time and you will have to learn to trust in the people who believe in your project and the fact that they will still be with you, when things take a little longer than expected.

So, this is where I say: „Thank you!“ to all supporters of destination:development for your patience, your understanding and for staying with us!