OUR VISION

Caminos de Acción seeks to assist Salvadorans in reaching their full potential as members of and leaders in their families, communities, and society.

OUR MISSION

To work in solidarity with Salvadorans to facilitate community organization in order to address locally identified challenges in El Salvador including social, educational, and health related issues.

HISTORY OF CAMINOS DE ACCIÓN

Caminos de Acción (CdA) was founded by Blanca Escoto and Laura Hastings, originally called Ciudad de Angeles, in March 2012 in Laramie, Wyoming. The founders' original mission was combating infantile and adolescent malnutrition in Blanca’s home province in El Salvador: La Paz. Their intention was to build a nutrition home for children and their mothers, where the children could receive a respite from child labor and attend school, while the mothers could take part in technical skills courses.

However, once Blanca and Laura conducted a community needs assessment in their primary focus area, Tehuiste, a change of methodology occurred. Blanca and Laura decided to approach projects based on a new mission. This mission was to focus on locally identified challenges, rather than their own perception of what a community needed. They also decided to tackle local, community based problems, focusing on one community at a time to make the greatest difference.

During the needs assessment meetings in Tehuiste, the entire community voted that their greatest concern in their daily lives was lack of access to water, and so was born CdA’s first project.

Board Members

blanca

President Blanca Escoto de Benitez

Founder of Caminos de Acción
English as a Foreign Language Instructor at the Centro Cultural Salvadoreño Americano
San Salvador, El Salvador

Having observed the poverty in her country of El Salvador since childhood, in March 2012, Blanca decided to confront the struggles of her people by founding Caminos de Acción. She now runs the organization in her home province in El Salvador: La Paz while also teaching English at the Centro Cultural Salvadoreño Americano and continuing her instruction education. Blanca is very passionate about her people and wishes to join their fight for a higher quality of life by facilitating community organization around priorities voiced by community members and realizing those concerns.

 

 

President, Violeta Rodriguez

Violeta is from El Salvador and decided to move to the States about two years ago. She is an enthusiastic and dedicated professional in Marketing and Communications. She is proud of being a volunteer with Caminos de Acción and helping her country. With her expertise in Social Media, Violeta is helping to connect CdA with more volunteers and people who want to help bring more opportunities for communities in need.

Vice President Rafael Sanchez
Diocesan Priest in the San Rafael Parish and Theology Professor at the Santiago Apóstol Seminary
San Rafael Obrajuelo, El Salvador

Rafael has been a diocesan priest for the past 12 years and currently works in the San Rafael Obrajuelo Parish, part of the Zacatecoluca diocese in his home province in El Salvador: La Paz. He also works as a theology professor at the Santiago Apóstol Seminary in Santiago de Maria. Throughout his pastoral experience he has had the opportunity to work in various situations of poverty. He currently has the task of sharing the faith with sisters and brothers who live in poverty in the northern area of his parish. The Christian promise leads him to be in solidarity with the difficult situations in his town, particularly when it comes to the children, which is why he feels driven to participate and help out in any way he can with Caminos de Acción's initiatives.

 

 
sarah

Secretary Sara Clark
Civil Engineer
Laramie, WY

Sara, originally from Honduras, recently moved back to Wyoming, where she helped to found Caminos de Acción. She is dedicated to development not only in her country of Honduras but also to Central America as a whole, and she is ecstatic to be working with and offering her expertise to Caminos de Acción, especially concerning the Water Access Program which includes well perforation and water storage. Sara currently works as a civil engineer in Laramie, Wyoming and looks forward to future projects with Caminos de Acción as the organization furthers its support in Tehuiste, in El Salvador and around Central America.

 

 
emily

Treasurer Emily Batres
Transfer Specialist at Saint Paul College
St. Paul, Minnesota

Emily recently moved back to the United States after living in El Salvador for four years. She worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer on youth and community development projects in a rural community for two years and as the Education and Formation Coordinator at a non-profit organization in San Salvador for another two years. Emily has a MSEd from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and is currently a Transfer Specialist at Saint Paul College in St. Paul, MN. She is passionate about social justice from a local to global scale and is particularly interested in issues related to access to education.

 

President, Violeta Rodriguez
Social Media Specialist

Violeta is from El Salvador and decided to move to the States about two years ago. She is an enthusiastic and dedicated professional in Marketing and Communications. She is proud of being a volunteer with Caminos de Acción and helping her country. With her expertise in Social Media, Violeta is helping to connect CdA with more volunteers and people who want to help bring more opportunities for communities in need.

 

STAFF AND VOLUNTEERS

Laura Hastings
Executive Director

Laura's studies and teaching career have taken her around the globe, most recently to El Salvador, where she co-founded Caminos de Acción with Blanca. She has a Masters in Social Justice Education and currently teaches high school English in Los Angeles. As director of CdA, she intends to guide the organization through a lens of critical pedagogy and popular education methodology, which she uses in the classroom as well as with Caminos de Acción in community organizing at the grassroots level.

For general inquiries contact Laura at laura.hastings@caminosdeaccion.org

 

Manuel Dominguez
Program and Development Director in San Salvador, El Salvador

Manuel is from La Paz, El Salvador, and is currently working on a bachelor's degree in International Relations at the University of El Salvador. A few years ago he had the opportunity to work with a community in Chiquimula, Guatemala and from that experience he developed a desire to support projects like those that CdA works on. He is dedicated to giving to his people in any way that he can, and thanks to his studies, he feels prepared to support CdA's varied projects.

 
aj

A.J. McBride
Chief Financial Officer

A.J. provides financial support to CdA and joined the team in 2014. A.J. is a native Iowan and has worked in the nonprofit community in Iowa City for the last five years, serving as treasurer and web admin for The Courage Ride. He received a BBA in Business Administration and Management from the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. He is currently a proposal writer for Leepfrog Technologies, and owns a small catering gig on the side. A.J. spends most of his free time in the kitchen cooking, baking, and testing recipes; hanging with friends; listening to EDM with the volume up too high; or can be found with Maya, his spoiled rotten Siberian Husky. 

For fundraising/partnership opportunities contact A.J. at aj.mcbride@caminosdeaccion.org

 

 

John Nelson
Attorney, University of Michigan Law School