Why It Matters
The foundations of peace lie in a strong civil society and democratic participation. In the face of increasing violence and insecurity, Cristosal seeks to strengthen communities by fostering cultures of democracy and transparency and promoting participation at the grass-roots level.
What We Do
Cristosal expands and strengthens community participation by bringing community leaders and municipal staff together in four-month long diploma courses offered to both youth and adults on conflict transformation, human rights processes and entrepreneurship. The courses build participants’ skills to design their own projects to collectively address community issues, from violence to environmental degradation.
Our Impact in 2015
Community and municipal graduates from the Citizen Formation School - a diploma course that teaches participants to design and implement their own rights-based development projects.
Citizens engaged in community projects created, designed, and run by Formation School graduates. Projects use a rights-based approach to address the structural causes of poverty at a local level.
Residents impacted by community projects in Ciudad Arce and Cuscatancingo, where Cristosal provides rights-based training to all municipal employees.
Citizenship in Action: Santa Lucia
In Santa Lucia, a community of nearly 1,000 people living in the urban municipality of Ciudad Arce, past local development resulted in environmental contamination. Brick factories providing the majority of the community’s employment emit toxic fumes and fuel rapid deforestation. At the same time, sewage dumped upstream has left the once pristine local river unuseable. Graduates of Cristosal’s Citizen Formation School decided it was time for a change. Representatives of the municipal staff and the local community development association are creating a three-year plan to develop alternative local employment opportunities, while working with surrounding towns to design a comprehensive river cleanup and preservation campaign.
Make a difference today
Cristosal depends on your donation to continue improving conditions for thousands of families in Central America. Help us protect those who need it most.