OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Iniative for Peace in El Salvador

Reduction of gang recruitment in Delgado City, through Agricultural, Nutritional and Cultural Innovation

Photo of Foundation for Experiential Education Pablo Tesak
3 2

Written by

Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

70% of the communities around the Troncal de la Norte highway, in the middle of the two rivers, are "pirate" communities. That is to say during the conflict and the great displacements of the Salvadoran population in the years from 1980 to 1992, lotificadores bought farms, hamlets and land, to subdivide into subdivisions, without introducing potable water, electricity, adequate drainage, streets, paths and green areas . On many occasions, these pirate lottors did not do the necessary paperwork to deliver the deeds to the families that bought their lots. The result that we find 25 years after the peace agreements are communities excluded from basic government services. To break the spiral of vulnerability in communities, community work focused in three components; 1. Hydroponically Organic Agriculture, 2. Nutrition-Health and 3. Culture, all working in parallel in different communities. The wealth of learning is provided through, hydroponics-organic agricultural area; power each day the mood of people who benefit from the crops they planted themselves and are empowered to develop a character of belonging and achievement. It has also been awakened in every woman representative from home and benefits from the project, visualize planned productivity in the area of agriculture as a source of income and own consumption targets. Another component to consider to develop a successful community work is the culture, Viewed from the valuesand traditions handed down from generation to generation, customs and idiosyncrasies of each community space, shows an evolution and forms of action marked by cultural patterns in each of the communities in which it operates the project. To strengthen this area various activities all focused on human development, violence prevention, creativity, positive use of imagination, visits to the theater to see works presented by puppets, the development of soft and hard skills workshops strings are made with an emphasis on teamwork Leadership

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

The beneficiaries are families of rural and urban communities. the majority are boys and girls (around 40%) adult women (40%) elderly people 10% and men 25 to 50 years old). that are currently living in vulnerable environment due to gang members harassment. in the sorrundding of the Troncal del Norte Higway located in Delgado City of San Salvador, El Salvador. In the past year the Foundation for Experiential Education Pablo Tesak formed an alliance with the New Horizons for the Poor Foundation and the Catholic Church to eliminate gang recruitment from 12 of these communities. People who live in these communities experience a tension of constant violence and threat of violence. Health officials, teachers, municipal workers, social workers, public health workers do not enter these communities.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

Unlike other NGO’s, the organizations involved inthe project have earned the respect of communities for our commitment to the poor and the integrity of our word. We have been well received and invited by these communities to work with their people . We are absolutely clear with the gang leadership and the local directiva that our commitment is zero recruitment by the gangs. There is no exchange of money or transferable goods between the Initiative for Peace and the gang leadership. We form cultural committees in each of these communities. We form nutrition and health committees in the communities. We form agricultural committees in each community to promote home gardens and balance diet. We provide psychological counseling and group therapy to those who need it. When necessary we help people secure identity cards, any kind of legal documentation they need and assistance with public institutions for example: schools municipal offices.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Early Adoption: I have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have begun to expand the pilot for early adoption.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

The Foundation for Experimental Education was founded in 2008, in Ciudad Delgado, where its facilities are located, Ciudad Delgado is one of fifty municipalities designated by the Government of El Salvador as highly vulnerable to recruitment by gangs (eighteen and salvatrucha), within this municipality the Ministry of Public Security has defined fifty neighborhoods vulnerable to this event, the facilities of the foundation are located in territories of these gangs. web link:

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

The starting of these initiative was inspired by the communities. Several families of the area approach our executive Director: David Blanchard, (in whom the communities trust due to our work in the are) they organize and communicate to us how their children were been influenced by gang members of the area and sometimes were force to enter this criminals groups

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

How peace id influenced by the e context: 500 families with an average of 6 per family Controlled by the Mara Salvatrucha, No government service; no NGOs present Intrusion by the military and police on average twice per week; Homes showing severe damage from bullets which also impacts prosperity High level of dropout by youth, and planet specifically the agricultural. With the lack of access of new agricultural technologies of the communities that also results in high levels of undernourishment among the children

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

The partner that this idea will have been: 1. The Vicaria Episcopal of Human Promotion - Caritas. this organization offers financial support to our project. 2. The Evangelic University of El Salvador: With dental Health programs. benefits that are used by the comunities involved in the program 3. Municipal Government of Delgado City: sewing teacher salary 4. FUNHOPO: Food and seeds for comunnities, also agricultural teachers salary

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

The communities are organized, and willing to work with our organization because they believed that though these efforts, they will be able to improve the quality of life of the community. Most of the beneficiaries are young people, that are in an age where they can be easily influence by their surrounding. and by our good practice of Nutritional, health and cultural, turn their communities into wedges of peace and prosperity that will benefit the following generations.

Geographic Focus

Expansion of the project to 12 communities of Delgado City, San Salvador, El Salvador

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

36 month

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ana Luisa Ahern

Hello Foundation for Experiential Education Pablo Tesak
I work with EcoViva in the Bajo Lempa region of El Salvador. Your project sounds very interesting and I would like to connect with you to see if there are any opportunities for collaboration!

View all comments