Co-partners of Campesinas
Supporting Rural Women and Youth in Central America
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Rural students with packages of school supplies, bought and distributed by Co-partners local partner the Red de Mujeres. Two hundred children receive school supplies packages every year.
Co-partners of Campesinas is a volunteer, non-profit organization founded in 1997 to support the work of rural women of El Salvador and Guatemala to improve their lives and those of their children and their communities.


Our mission is to keep youth in school, teach income producing skills to women and youth and mentor future leaders.  Rural women and youth are our focus.


We believe that empowering and educating women and youth is the best way to invest in families, communities and future generations, thus our motto -- LEARN, EARN, LEAD.


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(left) Yessy and Aracely, leaders of La Nueva Esperanza in Ilobasco, El Salvador, show off a school uniform produced by the sewing coop she organized after taking Co-partners-funded sewing classes.


Co-partners provides small grants to partner organizations for scholarships and training programs that are run by the partner organizations. Volunteers from Co-partners travel to El Salvador and to Chichicastenango, Guatemala from one to three times per year, for visits of one to two weeks, to consult with partners on how to improve and expand their organizations and programs, to conduct leadership training and to train local teachers of English. Ongoing support is provided by phone and email.


We partner with organizations of women from rural communities to provide accessible, low-cost classes and training programs: Rural residents, living in poverty, are isolated from educational and training institutions. The time demands of subsistence farming and the cost of transportation to urban areas make it extremely difficult for rural women and youth to access education and training. We provide classes at times and in locations requested by rural residents. In El Salvador dressmaking and tailoring classes have drawn women and girls to learn a complex skill that allows them to earn a living. Computer skills classes are attended by both women and youth.

Work through mothers and educate girls: Research clearly shows that mothers are primarily responsible for the health and education of their children. We work with women to reach children and youth. Education of girls is one of the most effective development interventions; therefore, encouraging mothers to send their daughters to school and providing scholarships assures that more girls will complete at least secondary school.

Empowerment: Rural women, despite limited education, are capable of designing, running and evaluating their own development projects. Being a member or officer of one of our partner organizations provides practice in leadership. Organizations elect officers and members with little to no formal education learn to manage budgets, recruit students and hire and supervise instructors. They decide on courses to be offered.  Co-partners volunteer role in our annual visits gradually shifts from teacher to coach to advisor. As a low-budget, US-based, all-volunteer organization, supporting our partner organizations from afar, we help them to manage their own programs and they are very successful in doing it! 

Small is beautiful: Co-partners’ approach has allowed our partner organization in Ilobasco, El Salvador to flourish for twenty-three years, our partner in Chichicastenango, Guatemala for seventeen years and our groups in Apastepeque and Cojutepeque for seven years ... it works!


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Co-partners of Campesinas