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El Salvador: Fighting climate change in everyday life
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El Salvador: Fighting climate change in everyday life

A woman stands in a corn and bean field on a hillside in the outskirts of El Salvador's capital, San Salvador


El Salvador is Central America’s smallest country and has the highest population density in the region with over 300 people per square kilometer. It ranks third in America, behind Honduras (Guatemala) and Guatemala, as well as among the most impoverished. UNICEF also lists it as one of the poorest. El Salvador’s poverty rate is more than 40%. 

Moreover, the country is suffering badly from the consequences of climate change: Drought and forest fires are destroying areas used for food production, while hurricanes and floods cause widespread devastation. The threat to water supplies and food supplies is posed by degraded soil and growing urban sprawl.  

A woman stands in a corn and bean field on a hillside in the outskirts of El Salvador's capital, San Salvador

Verónica del Rosario Echegollen de Perez was trained as an organic farmer by CESTA

Ricardo Navarro’s small, non-governmental organization CESTA (“Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology”) has been fighting for decades for a better climate and sustainable future in El Salvador. Thanks to the NGO’s perseverance, various laws have been passed, such as a ban on further metal mining. 

CESTA’s central focus is to help smallholder women learn organic farming techniques and how to get local seeds. Women produce for their own consumption and make extra income by selling the surplus.  

Goal of the project: CESTA was one of the first small organisations to receive support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment to increase its climate commitment under the IKI Small Grants Program. The CESTA program focuses on supporting women through environmental education. IKI Small Grants supports micro-projects in climate and nature conservation across 27 countries. 

Project partner:The IKI Small Grants program is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the BMU. 

Project duration: The project in El Salvador started in May 2021 and will run for two years.  

Budget: Total funding available for the IKI Small Grants projects amounts to €3 million.

Carolina Chimoy’s film

Ricardo Navarro, president of the NGO CESTA, stands next to a dead mangrove tree in El Salvador

Ricardo Navarro is the founder of CESTA. He has already made a significant impact in El Salvador’s field of environmental protection.


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