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CRS South America Zone

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on 31 March 2014

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Transcript of CRS South America Zone

South America Zone

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We are motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice, and embody Catholic social and moral teaching
CRS strives to promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies; as well as to serve Catholics in the United States as they live their faith in solidarity with their brothers and sisters around the world
In South America we work in the area of water and watershed management in Bolivia; trafficking and slave labor in Brazil, social and environmental conflicts in Peru, and coffee and migration issues in Ecuador and Colombia.
Number of CRS Beneficiaries:
Direct – 71.364 Indirect – 5.362

With the Social Pastoral Offices (
) of the dioceses of El Alto and Cochabamba, and with financing from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (
), we are helping to install water and sanitation systems, ecological latrines and small sanitary landfills to vulnerable families in Quechua and Aymara farming communities.
Bolivia has a large indigenous population, many of whom still live in native communities. Although the country’s economy has grown steadily over the past decade, it is still difficult for the government to meet the entire population’s needs, especially in rural areas. Many of these rural communities are Aymara and Quechua farming communities.
Working with
Fundación Jubileo
, CRS is helping to bring about greater awareness of hydrocarbon activities in Bolivia. Our work specifically focuses on training journalists on how to monitor and examine the social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts generated by hydrocarbon activities, and then relay this information to the greater population.
With our partner,
, and through the generous support of the
Father’s Table Foundation
, CRS is addressing the issue of food insecurity in the Barranca neighborhood of Sucre. Women of vulnerable families are being taught appropriate technologies for intensive greenhouse production, how to improve the use of natural resources through rainwater harvesting, and the proper technique for recycling organic waste for productive purposes
Along with the
Foundation for Participatory Community Development
), CRS is working to strengthen community resilience in the flood-vulnerable communities in the department of Beni, and providing greater access to safe water and sustainable energy use. Along with the other nine member organizations of the
Consortium of Humanitarian Agencies in Bolivia
, we are responding to the recent flooods and landslides in Beni by providing water and sanitation facilities and hygiene training to people living in temporary shelters. The
works to strengthen capacities for multi-actor coordination between the national, sub-national, and local governments on preparedness for and response to natural disasters in all 9 departments in Bolivia.
Number of CRS Beneficiaries:
Direct – 31.761 Indirect – 96.008
CRS works with partners in Brazil to combat one of the most flagrant violations of human rights today: modern slavery. Poor and illiterate men, lured by the promise of a job, are prey to recruiters that lead them to remote plantations, coal mines and cattle ranches in all regions of the country.
Pastoral Land Commission
, abbreviation in Portuguese) warns potential victims of the danger of becoming enslaved in remote areas and tries to rescue existing victims. We are currently working with CPT on a project titled
“Breaking the Slavery Cycle in Brazil”
, which aims to promote the rights of poor rural families, especially with regard to the issue of access to land and in cases involving slave labor and violence of large landowners.
In high unemployment areas where people are most vulnerable to the promise of jobs, the
“Slavery, no way!”
program raises public awareness about the danger of falling into the hands of unscrupulous recruiters. It also warns consumers about slave labor in manufacturing. Our partner,
Repórter Brasil
, uses social journalism, education and communications to encourage civic and government action to eradicate slave labor. It also publicizes the Brazilian government’s “dirty list” of companies that use slave labor in their production or supply chains. Advocacy and watchdog work on slave labor has convinced Brazil’s national banks and some private banks to deny loans to those on the list.
Borderlands Coffee Project
is helping 3,200 smallholder farmers in conflict-affected communities along the Colombia-Ecuador border to expand high-value market opportunities and reduce their vulnerablility to hunger and environmental degredation. Follow our work at

Because tens of thousands of Colombian refugees have fled to neighboring Ecuador, we work with partners along the countries' shared border and in the Ecuadorian provinces that have the largest refugee populations.

In partnership with the
Scalabrinian Mission
, we work with refugees and representatives of the communities where they resettle in Ecuador.
CRS is working with
on a new project in the Ecuadorian Amazonian region. This project aims to promote respect for tradition and indigenous rights, specifically related to the extractive industry, through the construction of a comprehensive communication strategy. The focus is on reinforcing social action and church based organizations in the most vulnerable areas of the country. In partnership with two broadcasting associations,
, we will disseminate information related to these topics throughout the Amazonian region.
Number of CRS Beneficiaries:
Direct – 8.261 Indirect – 4.553
Oil and gas production and mining, which drive Peru's economic growth, affect the environment and people's health and livelihoods, often leading to conflict between companies and communities. In indigenous communities affected by extractive operations, investment in local development is minimal compared to industry profits. We encourage sustainable management of natural resources and fair distribution of benefits through dialogue that creates more equitable relationships among communities, the government and companies.
A modern day gold rush in the biologically diverse Amazonian region of Madre de Dios, in southeastern Peru, has sparked conflicts involving small-scale miners, small farmers, indigenous communities and conservationists. With our partner, the
Conference for Bishop's Social Action
, and funding from the
US Agency for International Development (USAID)
, we facilitate the use of development plans and dialogue to help people understand their rights and legal methods for resolving issues more peacefully.
This project, which is funded by the
US State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugee and Migration (PRM)
, meets needs for food and other emergency humanitarian aid, provides psychological and legal assistance to families and individuals displaced by the armed conflict in Colombia and supports livelihood programs to enable people to make a new start in their new communities. A nationwide advocacy and awareness raising campaign that includes radio programs and large community events focused on breaking down cultural barriers and negative perceptions of Colombian refugees is also being carried out.
Number of CRS Beneficiaries:
Direct – 3.605 Indirect – 12.700
Number of CRS Beneficiaries:
Direct – 35.866 Indirect – 78.000
For more information, please visit:
Since 2009, CRS has been supporting the
National Conference of Brazilian Bishops (CNBB)
in the development of pastoral and ecclesial actions to denounce and combat human trafficking. A recent example is the launch of the 2014 Fraternity Campaign, which addresses the theme of Brotherhood and human trafficking, in the context of the manner with which Christ has made us free.
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