“Las Mélidas” hosts El Salvador producers meeting

Two weeks after the meeting with Guatemala tile producrs, a similar meeting took place in San Salvador, at the headquarters of the women’s association “Las Mélidas”. More than thirty people from seven workshops discussed their problems and successes and were able to benefit from the presence and wide experience of EcoSouth expert Kurt Rhyner.


MCR had been introduced to Salvador some ten years ago, but was mainly used by NGO’s to serve their own projects. Fundasal has covered many thousands of houses. After the earthquakes in 2001 “Las Mélidas” received support to start several workshops as a way contributing to reconstruction efforts and, at the same, time create much needed jobs for women.

For “Las Mélidas”, marketing has started slowly, as must be expected with people who are totally new to such tasks. However, through institutional channels they have now signed some sizeable contracts which complement the sales to private builders. Discussion mainly centered around quality of tiles and roofs as well as workshop organization. The transformation to small entrepreneurs is not easy and to do it in cooperative ways often complicates decision making, but several workshops are now gaining ground.

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Wilfredo Santana
Business Administrator
Project management, operational setup of projects, control mechanisms (financial and administration)



In 2005, SofoNic has started a dual education program for masons in Nicaragua, using its house-building programs as a base. Teaming up with the local technical school in Jinotepe they are graduating about ten masons every year since. Most f them have found jobs in construction or have started a business on their own. SofoNic has contracted several of them as master masons in the reconstruction programs in Haiti.