Association for Community Development, Environmental Protection & Multiple Services (ADCASMUS) – El Salvador

ADCASMUS works with families living in poverty or extreme poverty, in communities that receive little or no other institutional or government support. About half of its programs are located in rural areas, where the population depends primarily on subsistence farming (corn and beans) on rented land for their livelihoods. In the region of Usulután, ADCASMUS works with families who make their living from fishing and clam digging. Some families supplement their diet and income by raising small animals (chickens or pigs). ADCASMUS runs a community centre and two libraries in a semi-rural area, where it also runs educational and training programs for youth.


Agriculture: credit to small-holder grain farmers, and assistance with collective purchasing of organic & chemical inputs.

Credit & micro-loans: training, small loans & ongoing technical assistance to families starting small businesses such as chicken-raising, used clothing, or food sales & services.

Pay-it-forward animal-raising: basic training, technical support & animals(pigs). Credit for pig sties, and support with marketing.

Income generation: vocational training in leather work for youth, weaving, and hand-dyed indigo handy-crafts; teaching garden, library, and afterschool programming for children and youth. Art classes for youth.

ADCASMUS works with communities that generally receive little or no other institutional or government support. About half of its programs are located in rural areas, which were affected by massacres during the civil war; this population depends on subsistence farming (corn and beans) on rented land, supplemented by raising small animals (chickens or pigs) or fishing. ADCASMUS runs a community centre/library in a semi-rural area, where it also runs educational and training programs. Most participants come from families who live in extreme poverty or are working but below the poverty line.

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El Salvador has an estimated population of 6.1 million people living in the country, and more than 1.2 million outside. These expatriates were displaced by a 12-year civil war. 20% of the population lives in extreme poverty and accounts for only 3% of its wealth. El Salvador has the 5th lowest per capita income in the continent when adjusted for cost of living, and its GDP per capita ranks 135th in the world. Remittances are the largest source of income for the country (17%); making El Salvador highly dependent on illegal out-migration, and especially vulnerable to economic downturns. The World Bank estimates the proportion of people living in extreme poverty would double to 40% without these remittances. Most of the population in El Salvador’s population is young.

Agriculture makes up just over 10% of GDP but is still the main source of employment in the country – particularly for the 42% living in rural areas. Crime and homicide levels driven by youth gangs and drug trafficking are among the highest in the world. Despite these figures, El Salvador is considered a model for the social and political integration of a guerrilla movement following the end of a civil war.

Region of Work

 El SalvadorCanada
Population6.235.1 million
Size21,041 km29.9 million km2
Ranking- Human Development Index#107 in the world#11 in the world
Life Expectancy#117 in the world#13 in the world
Population below the Poverty Line36.5%9.4%
Carbon Footprint per person#149 in the world#14 in the world
Employment in Agriculture21%2%
Internet Users12.2%82%
Women in Parliament26%25%
Cost of Basic Needs Basket for a Family of 4$271.30$2,300
Average Monthly Minimum Wage$104 (agriculture)$1,690
GDP Per Capita#135 in the world#27 in the world

Five Departments of La Libertad, Sonsonate & Usulután in Central & Coastal El Salvador.