In the aftermath of the civil war, violence continues to ravage El Salvador. With a population of only six million, it’s remarkable that earlier this year, the first day on record without any murders was seen as something of a breakthrough. It’s in this context that the San Hilario cooperative was established, where ex-gang members and ex-soldiers work together to harvest shrimp.
The processing unit, funded by In Their Lifetime (ITL), has been particularly effective. It has proved to be a critical step in enabling the supply chain to work in favour of the cooperative members, because it bypasses middle-men who would normally force farmers to sell their produce for less than they can live on. The processing unit is also predominantly run by women.