Created in February, 1998, Alternare, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of environmental educational practices in rural communities. Its members have a long trajectory of working in conservation and sustainable development.
Currently the working staff is composed of: twelve campesino promoters dedicated to the training, supervision and follow up of planned activities within the campesino communities they work with; six professionals in charge of coordinating, planning and organizing training workshops as well as creating supporting materials for the workshops. They also supervise activities in the field, establish alliances with local, regional, national and international organizations and plan, handle and manage the necessary resources for the development of the organization’s projects.
MISSION: Motivate rural communities to recover their self-esteem and change their attitude towards the use, management and valuation or their natural resources.
VISION: Achieve a sustainable development model for the rural populations.
CORE VALUES: respect, responsibility, honesty and commitment.
STRATEGY: Alternareuses a community-based participatory methodology that facilitates the adoption of an alternative production model that responds to what people need; trains and follows-up the activities proposed in the model and promotes community organization.
- Improve the quality of life of people living in rural areas.
- Conserve, restore and manage natural resources.
The method adopted by the group consists in guided exercises with rural communities where they analyze and reflect to search for realistic solutions that will allow them to collectively establish plans and projects that help them optimize their resources. Developing these projects is a strategy that involves the internal organization of the communities, a basic requirement to ensure success for any program that is just about to get started.The group considers training campesinos as promoters as a necessary task. Training should take place in the locations where campesinoslive and through their everyday work.For Alternare, it is essential that every workshop, course, lecture, and follow-up is led by campesinos. From our own experience we know that communication barriers prevail among people from different backgrounds, and “a campesino listens to another campesino”.
To date, more than 500 workshops have been given to reach the production goals for personal use, conservation and management of natural resources. Since the project started more than 600 families (approximately 4,200 people) have directly benefited. These individuals have formed 60 work groups among 32 agrarian areas and are practicing (at different stages) de production model proposed by Alternare. The work groups have a majority of women (86%).
TRAINING OF CAMPESINO INSTRUCTORS
In January, 1999 we started the training program. To this date fifty one (51) instructors have been trained as promoters. To strengthen the program we also certified the instructors as trainers in collaboration with INCA-Rural who certifies training. To this date twenty (20) campesinos have been certified.