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Review for Co Partners Of Campesinas, Alexandria, VA, USA

Rating: 4 stars  

At a meeting of ex-patriates, in the nineties, when we lived in El Salvador,  someone asked me if I'd like to volunteer to help a women's development project. Because the work was on Saturdays and the  trip to Ilobasco, was not very agreeable, I was doubtful. But it only took one visit  to the organization, La Nueva Esperanza, to convince me that it was a project  I'd like to be a part of. Although the members of La Nueva Esperanza, came from various rural cantones around Ilobasco, sometimes walking for more than an hour, the meetings were happy, festive occasions. At this time in rural areas, the majority of the women were illiterate or with very few years of schooling. Some helped their husbands in subsistence agriculture, while others were single mothers who had complete responsibility for taking care of their families. The organization members wanted to do everything possible to improve their lives and they knew that they could do this only if they were better informed and more capable of making decisions that affected their lives. Classes began with training sessions on different topics, such as health, credit, or leadership, followed by classes in dress making and tailoring or other skills that would allow the women to increase their income. The idea was to improve their skills and make products salable in the local market. Another important part of the project was a program of scholarships to help youth finish their studies and provision of school supplies to low-income children. The scholarships were important because school desertion, especially for girls, was very high because they leave school to work as domestics.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many women who helped begin the project in 1994 continue participating, as well as  numerous new participants. Whereas initially the expatriate advisers had a large influence on the organization, now it is run completely by the members with email and t

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


Role:  Volunteer & As a volunteer, helped teach Saturday classes. As a board member led a trip of other volunteers to Guatemala.