Fundación Cruzada Patagonica (FCP)
Context: In contrast to the more affluent areas of urban Argentina, communities in rural Patagonia remain isolated and underserved: many lack access to clean water, electricity, education, and healthcare. A lack of quality schools in the area—particularly those providing culturally appropriate, practical education—has led to high levels of school dropout and illiteracy rates. As few opportunities exist for local employment, most adolescents and youth migrate to urban areas.
Organization: Founded in 1979 to promote development in Argentina’s rural and indigenous communities, Fundación Cruzada Patagónica (FCP) operates two agro-technical schools that use innovative, participatory learning models to provide young people in isolated areas in Patagonia with educational alternatives that align with local realities. FCP’s educational model combines academic and technical training, as well as individual skills-building and commitment to community service. Graduates have gone on to establish successful local businesses, obtain employment in various local sectors, and/or complete university. FCP also provides a range of services and educational opportunities to the surrounding communities (literacy, micro-enterprise, conservation and sustainable use of natural resources, intercultural education and programs that strengthen Mapuche culture, capacity-building of local organizations).
Current Grant: EMpower’s fourth grant to FCP supports the continued expansion and refinement of the educational program at their second agro-technical school. This includes setting up new agricultural production areas to teach youth about swine and dairy, receive practical training in these areas in addition to existing productive areas (such as livestock management, eco-friendly agricultural practices, and innovative agricultural technologies). Those in need will receive education equivalency courses. FCP will also expand the residence to house girls, enabling more girls from remote areas to get secondary education. FCP will document its institutional learnings via a written educational model to facilitate cross-learning.