CRIPDES is a nationally and internationally recognized grassroots organization with a base of approximately 300 rural communities in El Salvador, formed in 1984 in the midst of the armed conflict in El Salvador to assist refugees, displaced, and other war victims from the countryside suffering human rights abuses. A relationship with SHARE was formed and we, along with thousands of people in the United States, have tirelessly accompanied CRIPDES since then.
CRIPDES’ main objective is community, regional and national organization for policies, practices, and resources which promote increased access to development, basic services, employment, and improved living conditions for inhabitants of El Salvador’s countryside. CRIPDES is organized in the following way:
- An organized community elects a representative community council
- Community council representatives elect a Regional Council that makes up their CRIPDES Region. There are six CRIPDES regions throughout El Salvador (including UCRES, the CCR and CRIPDES San Vicente).
- The CRIPDES Regions are represented on the national level by CRIPDES.
Today, CRIPDES is able to advocate for public policies and contribute to the empowerment of rural communities, seeking socioeconomic development for rural El Salvador. With CRIPDES, SHARE is able to support these efforts, reaching around 100,000 people in the departments of Chalatenango, Cuscatlán, La Libertad, San Salvador, San Vicente, Cabañas and La Paz.
Through our Grassroots Partners, SHARE currently accompanies four CRIPDES regions: UCRES, the CCR, CRIPDES San Vicente, and CRIPDES Sur La Libertad.
Read on for more information about this exciting partnership!
More History of CRIPDES:
In 1986, CRIPDES began a campaign to accompany refugees living in camps outside the country, as well as internally displaced Salvadorans, back to communities where they would begin life over again and promote community organizing at all levels for human rights protection, development, better living conditions, and more favorable and equitable policies effecting the rural poor. SHARE was a key part of this campaign, raising a million dollars and bringing people to El Salvador to accompany Salvadoran communities through the Going Home Campaign.
When the peace accords were finally signed in 1992 and new relationships were established between the Salvadoran government and civil society, CRIPDES began a new era and strategy, but with a similar objective: to support community, regional and national organization for policies, practices, and resources which promote increased access to improved living conditions for inhabitants of El Salvador’s countryside.
For many years, SHARE worked with CRIPDES National and organized communities that formed part of this amazing network. Projects ranged from salary support for teachers and scholarships for students, to citizen education and transportation for elections, to meeting immediate community needs for infrastructure, to preservation of historical memory and support for regional youth organizing, to institutional strengthening. Projects in communities were funded by sister parishes or sister communities in the U.S. and projects on the national level were funded by SHARE. Throughout the 1990s, SHARE facilitated sistering relationship in communities throughout El Salvador in all CRIPDES regions and hundreds of people came to El Salvador through SHARE and CRIPDES every year.
In 2002, SHARE and CRIPDES made the transition from supporting direct community-to-community or parish-to-parish relationships and projects to supporting regional partnerships and regional projects. By supporting organizing and development of a region with many communities, SHARE and our Grassroots Partners were able to focus on empowering communities to meet their immediate needs and work for sustainable development. Instead of benefiting one community in a given area, these relationships would support dozens. The projects moved away from infrastructure and towards community development and organization, focusing on our core values at the time of women’s empowerment, youth leadership, and citizen participation.