History in Peru
After arriving in Peru as a Spanish missionary in 1983, Padre Miguel Ranera immediately recognized the dire needs of the slums surrounding Lima, the community in which he was working. As a result, Padre Miguel created the Coprodeli Foundation and for more than half his life, Padre Miguel has worked diligently to help the poor of Peru. Over 375,000 Peruvian children, adolescents, and adults benefit each year from Coprodeli services and programs. In 2000, Coprodeli USA was founded as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization to support the on-going efforts of Coprodeli Peru.
Padre Miguel has strengthened Coprodeli’s model of social development from a model of intervention to one of prevention and sustainable development. In facing issues of extreme poverty, Padre Miguel’s work has emphasized education, entrepreneurship, and protecting the young as the means for empowering marginalized communities. Coprodeli’s efforts unceasingly seek to create opportunities for locals to participate in the crafting of solutions to the challenges they face. This sustainable, innovative, and participatory development model seeks to empower poor Peruvians to develop a better city and better lives for themselves.
The comprehensive approach utilized by the Coprodeli Foundation is focused on structured, effective, and sustainable programming in the areas of Education, Children at High Risk, Preventive Health, Humanitarian Aid, Employment Generation, and Housing.
Basic social needs are often unmet throughout many regions of Peru. Coprodeli's model is already fully in place and addressing these social needs in the urban port city of Callao, where Coprodeli began, and in Pachacutec, a sprawling shantytown an hour north of Callao, and is in the process of expanding to the Ica Region and the San Martín jungle.
Evolution of Programs & Sites
When Padre Miguel began his work in 1983, community efforts principally focused on nutritional aid, feeding the millions of starving people in Peru. But as time went on and the extremity of starvation was curbed, Padre Miguel began to see the need to incorporate more approaches and strategies to achieve positive, sustainable social change that would address the root causes of poverty. Thus, Coprodeli was officially founded in 1989. Padre Miguel and local volunteers' first main focus: education.
In 1993, Coprodeli inaugarated it's first school, San Agustín de Hipona, in the urban port city of Callao. Throughout the '90s, Coprodeli's model continued to grow, increasing from a single parish and school to a network of 3 schools. The model also evolved to address other root causes of poverty - preventative health and focusing on children in high risk - and Coprodeli added multiple clinics and outreach centers in Callao.
Then, in 2001, Coprodeli expanded its programs to Pachacutec, and sprawling shantytown built on sanddunes about an hour north of Callao whose population grew from zero to 100,000 almost overnight as the result of a political ploy. By now, Coprodeli had mature Humanitarian Aid, Education, Preventive Health, and Children in High Risk Programs from Callao. In Pachacutec, Coprodeli combined all these programs plus Employment Generation and Housing into the structured, effective, holistic, and centralized model that it still utilizes today.
Currently, Coprodeli is in the process of expanding in two additional regions to serve the needs of the residents there as well:
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The 2007 earthquake in the Ica Region (Cañete, Chincha, Pisco, and Ica) prompted Coprodeli to engage the area to rebuild infrastructure and revitalize local economies. Coprodeli’s model has expanded to include urban development initiatives that aid the growth of full-fledged communities by providing infrastructure such as water and sewer drainage, electricity, green spaces, paved streets, and sidewalks. Coprodeli combines these initiatives with its traditional Education, Health & Humanitarian Aid, and Employment Generation Programs to facilitate communities’ comprehensive exit from poverty. This natural expansion of programs indicates that Padre Miguel has inspired an intervention strategy that is sustainable, effective, and replicable.
In 2011, Padre Miguel made good on his commitment to address the dire needs of the communities in the jungle region. However, due to the global economic downturn, the international financial support for new projects had plummeted. While Coprodeli's pre-existing programs in Callao and Pachacutec were financially sustainable, the construction phases of the Ica Region were in question. Coprodeli had to find a way to become self-sustaining and generate more of its own funds.
The Coprodeli agricultural school in the San Martín jungle enables Coprodeli to do just this. While students learn how to maintain sustainable agricultural practices and the ins-and-outs of the business side of the agro-industry, Coprodeli can sell the produce to local and international customers, generating sufficient funds to repay loans and pursue new projects that serve the populations most in need.
Coprodeli’s expansion into the Ica and San Martín Regions consolidates the organization’s past 24 years of experience under Padre Miguel’s leadership. Coprodeli has gained legitimacy among the local population as a force for change by responding to the needs of marginalized communities and empowering community members to actively participate and lead program efforts. Combining the knowledge, experience and resources from its work in education, direct humanitarian assistance, healthcare, child protection, housing, entrepreneurship and employment generation, Coprodeli has developed an experiential understanding of the critical factors required for self-sustaining change in Peru’s urban marginalized communities.
Coprodeli USA’s History
In May 1999, inspired by a five-month visit working with the Coprodeli children in Callao, long-time Chicago resident Thomas McDonald returned to the Windy City and established Coprodeli USA. Operating in Chicago since 1999 and Washington D.C. since 2007, Coprodeli USA’s mission is to support the integral development work of Coprodeli in Peru with financial and in-kind donations, expert knowledge, volunteer participation, and other activities to provide for fundamental needs, promote education and job training, and develop strong self-sustaining community programs to diminish poverty and social exclusion in Peru.
Coprodeli USA focuses on institutional, individual and corporate giving to support the mission of the work in Peru. Our institutional and corporate support network has grown over the years as our development efforts have expanded in Peru.
Coprodeli USA’s work has been strengthened over the years with volunteer efforts and a growing network of individual supporters. Hundreds of volunteers participate in Peru, Chicago, Washington DC, and throughout the country to raise funds and awareness of the problems and solutions Coprodeli provides for the most impoverished communities in Peru.
To learn more about how to get involved with Coprodeli USA, please click here.