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SEP - El Salvador shrimp processing unit

Shrimp industry brings benefits for women

Between 2013 and 2015, ITL funded a cooperative called San Hilario in El Salvador, which harvests and sells shrimp. The Christian Aid team in Central America recently went back to visit the cooperative to see what progress has been made.

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.

A new livelihood for a family

Ana Valladares

'This is a great initiative! With God‘s blessing it will keep functioning and I will have a steady job. I’ve raised my children alone and I want us to move forward and have a better future. I will work really hard for it and maybe my kids could also work here.'