“I never thought that we, as regular citizens, could have face-to-face meetings with high public officials, and bring them into our public actions to get their commitment to work with us in solving our community issues. Knowing how to do research meetings has led to very productive outcomes, and we are learning how to build strong relationships.”
—MANUEL CERON, EL SALVADOR ORGANIZER
The time-tested PICO leadership development method is successful building leaders among low income people in El Salvador and Guatemala in their parishes and communities. Check out the latest news from Central America.
El Salvador: COFOA leaders met in March to examine their exercise of power in the political area. They celebrated success in securing funding for the Rio Roldan Bridge and advancing…
Celebrating more than 40 years of history, nearly 300 PICO Network leaders met the first week of May to chart our future together. This history and future is embedded in…
COFOA leaders hosted US Human Rights Representative Daniel Thompson and three US State Department officials who sought dialogue about US foreign aid, violence reduction, and TPS (Temporary Protected Status) policies.…
History & Methodology
PICO Central America is the first international project of the PICO Network. In 2002, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez, Honduras, reached out to PICO to explore his vision of developing grassroots leadership among ordinary people through the Central American Catholic Church. He saw PICO’s leadership development method as an important tool that complemented efforts by the church to fight poverty in all six Central American countries. Introductory trainings took place across the region over the next few years, and in 2008, Salvadoran grassroots leaders came together to launch their own organization, Comunidades de fe Organizadas para Accion (COFOA). A group of the bishops who invited PICO to Central America continue to support the development of Central American organizing work and the eventual building of organizations in each country.
PICO Central America builds the capacity of ordinary people to become leaders, demonstrating self-reliance and self-sufficiency, and bringing their faith values into the public arena to transform their communities into better places to live, where community members experience justice, dignity and equal opportunities. As grassroots leaders gain confidence and skills in negotiating with public officials, civic participation is strengthened and together they find solutions to community needs.