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This chapter reports on the activities of the Rural Continuing Education Centre (CREPA), a nongovernmental organization run by volunteers from small agricultural villages in the Las Villas area of Salamanca, Spain. The organization was founded in 1983 with the goal of improving living conditions and community life for villagers through social awareness and change. Activities included awareness-raising and information campaigns, training courses for women, development of an agricultural cooperative, recreational activities, and work study programs. Initial program evaluation concluded that a large portion of the population did not consistently participate in forums and that organizing efforts had become obsolete. In 1992-93, CREPA launched a new sociocultural action program aimed at addressing functional illiteracy and changing individual attitudes. Information cards were sent home every 15 days throughout the school year with the objective of conveying information and raising topics for discussion at bimonthly neighborhood meetings. These cards also encouraged the improvement of reading and writing skills. Program evaluation revealed that 95 percent of families accepted the new program; that initially there was a high degree of citizen participation, but participation declined during the winter months; and that the lack of economic means interfered with some social platforms initially planned for the program. However, many activities during the program's first year were deemed successful including information campaigns on nutrition, support for newspapers or magazines in two municipalities, implementation of an informal library, and promotion of an agricultural marketing cooperative. (LP)

Descriptors: Adult Education, Change Strategies, Community Development, Consciousness Raising, Farmers, Foreign Countries, Functional Literacy, Literacy Education, Nongovernmental Organizations, Relevance (Education), Rural Areas, Rural Development, Rural Education, Social Action

Autor: Gonzalez, Quintin Garcia


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