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Centro de Enseñanza Aprendizaje de Agricultura Sostenible El Socorro

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Public Statement 2017

Title Centro de Enseñanza Aprendizaje de Agricultura Sostenible El Socorro (CEASO)
Type of organization Grassroots support organization
Country Honduras
Duration  Three years
IAF Funding   $208,815
Counterpart Committed  $172,275: $73,230 in cash; $99,045 in kind
Number of direct &
indirect beneficiaries
Direct: 1,100
Indirect: 9,000
Primary program areas Agriculture/Food Production, Education/Training, Environment


Established in 1993 and legally constituted in 2006, the Centro de Enseñanza Aprendizaje de Agricultura Sostenible El Socorro (CEASO) is a training institute working with community organizations primarily in the Siguatepeque area to promote sustainable agroecological production. Over the past 20 years, CEASO has developed a renowned training center with demonstration areas of every type of agroecological practice. To date, CEASO has trained close to 20,000 producers in 18 departments of the country on sustainable farming techniques and on topics of health and environmental protection. CEASO has received previous financial support from international and Honduran based organizations, including Peace Corps, Plan International, Trees, Water & People, Mar y Mundo and the University of Vermont.

Development Objective

 To empower families to confront the challenges of living and farming in and adjacent to protected areas with increasing environmental limitations on water and soil resources.

Project Description
Centro de Enseñanza Aprendizaje de Agricultura Sostenible El Socorro (CEASO) will empower families in approximately 12 communities located in and near the buffer zone of the Montecillos Biological Reserve. The project will establish a more reliable food supply through training in agroforesty and agroecological production using the Finca Humana (Human Farm) approach. CEASO will also help to restore natural ecosystems through the establishment of community and individual tree nurseries, benefitting 1,100 people directly and another 9,000 indirectly.

Rationale for Funding

Communities living in and near protected areas rely heavily on ecosystem services provided by the natural environment — for example clean water, nutrient-rich soils and pollination for crops, and even recreational benefits — and are key agents in their protection. Challenging environmental conditions coupled with the recent pine bark beetle outbreak pose serious short term threats to these ecosystems and the resources they provide for thousands of Hondurans, leading to decreased livelihoods and outward migration. CEASO has expertise in training on agroecological production and plays an important role as a member of the co-management team of the Montecillos Biological Reserve. CEASO will train families to address challenges and restore natural ecosystems.

This grant is part of a broader IAF initiative focused on supporting economic prosperity, democracy, and governance consistent with the U.S. Strategy for Engagement in Central America.

Learning Opportunity

This project may demonstrate the effectiveness of the farmer-to-farmer technical assistance model and the Finca Humana approach in light of challenging environmental conditions. It could also shed light on obstacles to replication and adoption of agroforestry practices and agroecology techniques that are most useful for building resilience. More specifically, the project may contribute to knowledge around the short term effects of the pine bark beetle outbreak on forest ecosystems and the communities that rely upon them.