Cesder has organized four closely interrelated programs to bring their new approach to education to rural young people and their communities.
Training of Human Resources for Development: Using Cesder's educational models, this program offers junior high school, high school and undergraduate educational training for 650 students in six municipalities. Undergraduate courses in rural development are taught by specialized professionals through intensive workshops. At all levels, Benjamin seeks to base the students' education on their own cultures and traditions, to incorporate and preserve ancient wisdom about agricultural technologies and to encourage group discussion and experimentation.
Promotion of Community Development: The CESDER students work directly with and for their communities. They are currently helping with five programs: the Society for Social Solidarity, an organization of 150 women which carries out activities related to health, productivity and training; five Campesino Children Centers, which assist 500 children with health, nutrition, and sensory stimulation; the Regional Reforestation Project, which is creating four tree nurseries which will produce 39,000 trees annually; the Center for Agricultural and Cattle-raising Activities, which provides technical advice to producers in the region and helps them obtain financing for their activities; and the Training Program for Community Promoters, through which senior students are trained to work on one of the community projects.
Research on Agricultural and Cattle-raising Activities: This program focuses on the development of new technological alternatives for producers. It includes an Ecological Farm run by the students, a research center for the development of new crops, and a documentation center with 9,000 titles on rural development matters.
Establishing Links for Development: Perhaps most important of all, the CESDER seeks through this program to reach joint working agreements with other organizations to disseminate its educational models and programs. Benjamin is already training educators from nine states, who have been sent to learn his methods for use in their home communities.