El Salvador – La Maroma

Project: La Maroma Cooperative / Pastoral Social Action Team of the Zona Costa Region

The La Maroma Cooperative has its origin in the Salvadorean government’s agrarian reform plan from 1980. The mandate of the cooperative is to work for the economic and social well-being of its members, to practice agriculture in an environmentally sustainable manner, and to promote co-ops in El Salvador.

The cooperative also receives planning and implementation support from the Pastoral Team of the region. The Pastoral Team offers expertise to the cooperative in areas of conflict resolution and strategic planning, and plays an important role in facilitating communication between the cooperative and outside agencies, largely as a result of the co-ops isolation in terms of phone and mail.

The cooperatives in the region have been quite active in the area of community development. This has been as a direct result of measures that were taken to counteract the effects of El Salvador’s civil war and natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding. One of the cooperatives, Nueva Esperanza, was awarded a prize by the UNDP as a model of community development.

Since 1991, Change for Children Association (CFCA) has worked with the cooperatives in the Zona Costa region of El Salvador. Our first contact was with the cooperative of Nueva Esperanza, which was formed that year by refugees returning from Honduras. We facilitated a number of projects to help get Nueva Esperanza established, including production projects and the purchase of a school bus and a tractor. In addition, CFCA provided relief assistance to the co-op after flooding wiped out their newly planted crops in 1992. After Nueva Esperanza was on its way to self-sufficiency, CFCA began working with two of the other cooperatives in the region La Maroma and Nancuchiname. Recent projects included crop diversification in Nancuchimane and Hurricane Mitch relief for Nueva Esperanza. In 1995, CFCA funded an initial organization, capacitation and production project with La Maroma, and an irrigation project in 2001.

Monsenor Romero Popular resource centre for youth and children in Tierra Blanca, Usulutan El Salvador

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