Like Pacayas, El Bosque is another one of 24 communities making up the municipality of Cantarranas. El Bosque has many passionate community members who work well together as a community. There are several active leadership organizations including the Community Council “Patronato”, Water Board and church members.
El Bosque “The Forest” is the small neighboring community of Pacayas, also in a very rural location, hidden in the mountains, accessed by a dirt road. While agriculture is the main source of income for families, some also take advantage of the local resources by harvesting wood, and a significant portion of the community (14%) receives remittances or money sent back home from family abroad.
Approximately 150 people make up 45 families in this village. While men and women are nearly equally represented in the population, unlike other villages where SELF works, there is only a small number of women involved in community leadership. Many of the women of the community are younger than 18, so there is still hope for more gender equity in leadership in the future. The youth in this community are also currently not very involved in leadership organizations, which is a challenge we hope to address through introduction of the Community Youth Microenterprise Program.
At the onset of the partnership with El Bosque, SELF partnered with community members for multiple health and dental collaborations. Then, beginning in 2018, a plan was developed to improve the water project of El Bosque, in collaboration with Rotary International and SANAA, which took over a year to complete. In order to continue to empower young community leaders and help students stay in school, the Community Youth Microenterprise Program is working to form a new youth council.
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