Sustainable Farming and Protecting Indigenous Women from Violence in El Salvador

S.H.A.R.E empowers indigenous communities by introducing agroecological practices and advancing women's rights

Challenges with farming and anti-women violence afflicts El Salvador’s indigenous communities

Indigenous workers in the Morazan and Sonsonate Departments of El Salvador rely on farming to keep their culture alive and support their communities. Small-scale farmers produce around 45% of El Salvador's food, making it an important national industry. Unfortunately, a lack of support from local government has damaged the sector's viability.

In addition, El Salvador sees the highest rates of violence against women in the world. Gender inequality remains a significant challenge in rural communities, with women segregated to domestic work and labour without compensation. Hence, a lack of opportunity leaves women dependent on familial bonds which are ripe for abuse. The COVID-19 lockdowns have highlighted these issues with an increase in family violence against women.

Also, indigenous communities experience massive emigration to major cities and the United States. Increasing family income for small-scale farmers through agroecological farming methods and reducing domestic violence can encourage young people to seek futures in rural communities.

Education can introduce better alternatives and empower people to fight for their rights

Sustainable Agroecological Practices

Through our partner ANTA ( National Association of Farm Workers), S.H.A.R.E. supports community projects that increase food security and family incomes in a sustainable way. Agroecology involves crop rotation and diversification, soil conservation and inputs made from local organic materials. These practices increase a community’s ability to grow food sustainably over the long term. Members of 6 communities received training on sustainable practices. S.H.A.R.E funded workshops and the development of demonstration plots across each village. These plots provided hands-on learning that the farmers applied to their own farms.

Additionally, indigenous communities were encouraged to save seeds for multiple seasons and create a seed saving network. This network of indigenous communities increased security against crop failures and created a marketplace where surplus was exchanged.

Empowering Women Against Violence

Women from the same communities participated in a series of educational workshops and training. These lessons developed their ability to challenge familial violence against women . Additionally, a number of these women participated in sustainable mini-farm plots. This project empowered women in food production and labor leadership.

Project Contact Details

Project Leader: Carl Fletcher

As a 40+ year donor I’ve supported S.H.A.R.E.'s practical and effective projects that help people help themselves. Upon retirement from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, I volunteered as a Projects Committee member. I am now Project Manager for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras projects. I am a Professional Agrologist and a Canadian Association of Farm Advisors member. I value that each S.H.A.R.E. project requires the beneficiaries to Pass on a benefit to others in recognition of the help the project has given them.


12801 Bramalea Rd, Caledon Ontario, L7C 2R1


Throughout history ANTA has been forged as an institution that advocates the rights of Salvadoran peasant workers.

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