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Villages & Communities

Berlin, Usulutan | Caluco, Sonsonate | Suchitoto, Cuscatlan

Caluco, Sonsonate


The Municipality of Caluco, Sonsonate has eight rural villages and ranks as the 5th poorest area in El Salvador. Seventy-seven percent of its 10,332 inhabitants live in rural areas and survive on just $30.00 a month per family. The continued agricultural production of corn and beans on small plots of land impedes and inhibits income growth resulting in worsening impoverishment.

Weather cycles, such as drought or the recent rains, cause loss of traditional corn and bean production every three to four years. Key barriers inhibiting change in this situation include: the cost of crop diversification, lack of training, access to capital and control of the wholesale markets, which make crop diversification difficult for the rural farm family.

Without intervention, these families will remain in poverty, children will migrate to urban areas, and municipal health and educational systems will not be sustainable. This migration of the young to El Salvador’s cities will increase potential violence and place additional stress on the current city infrastructure.


Multiple factors make Caluco an area of opportunity for agricultural development, such as: excellent farm ground, access to abundant water supplies, and proximity to good markets (Izalco, Sonsonate and San Salvador). In addition, the community is well organized and supports excellent local leadership in the person of Mayor Blanca Lidia Orellana. She has demonstrated both the ability to organize her communities to action and the ability to execute development efforts. In 2008 she completed a participative municipal assessment with prioritized, actionable projects and has since begun the process of implementation. ESNA’s proposed agricultural development project would support this effort.

In order to address the issue of rural poverty in Caluco, ESNA is partnering with both the CATIE and FUSADES/ FORTAS. The goals of this project are designed to provide a 400% increase in family income for 230 families (1200 to 1300 people); provide employment opportunities for an additional 700 individuals; and transfer of new knowledge and skills in the areas of crop diversification, drip irrigation, direct marketing of products, accounting and financial management. We believe training, knowledge and new skills with small amounts of capital and experienced leadership can change the lives of the rural poor.

The other key element to success will be access to primary education for all with access to High School for those that wish to continue their education.

The Past Five Years - 2008 to 2012

North American Community/Partner(s)

Sampling of Projects

  • Completion of all classrooms in Suquiat for grades K-9
  • School desks/chairs/supplies for all classroom in Suquiat
  • Completion of a new kitchen for the school in Suquiat
  • Delivery of over 300 high-tech stoves for homes and schools
  • Planting of trees
  • 115 farmers trained in vegetable production using drip – lead by Fusades
  • Funding for new Republic de China school in urban Caluco and completion of phase one construction
  • Vocational training for 18 local men and women as electricians-Funded by Palo Alto University Rotary Club
  • Vocational Training for 18 -20 youth for artistic wood carving – Funded by Palo Alto University Rotary Club
  • Vocational Training for 15-20 youth in pottery and ceramics – Funded by Palo Alto University Rotary Club
  • Funding for Casa Maya, a new vocational training center and completion of phase one construction – lead by CESAL
  • Funding for a new computer training classroom in Casa Maya
  • Electricity supplied to 95% of all homes – lead by FISDL
  • Water supplied to 97% of all homes – lead by Municipality
  • Latrines provided to all homes – lead by Municipality

Tomorrow - 2013

Below is a sampling of projects either currently under-way or which are about to be undertaken. For a detailed list and description of future projects proposed by ESNA and their Salvadoran partners, please contact us.


  • Delivery of 60 -100 high-tech stoves for home and school - $5,000
  • Completion of infrastructure needs for Suquiat school facility - $35,000
  • Vegetable production project using drip irrigation for 50 new farmers - $150,000
  • New classrooms for Cerro Alto - $20,000
  • Casa Maya Vocational Center programs - $50,000
  • Casa Maya Phase II infrastructure $300,000
  • Begin Intern program for College and University students - $25,000
  • Caluco Urban School Phase II infrastructure - $200,000
  • Development of both infrastructure and operational needs for Las Trincheras day care facility - $80,000