About us

Non-profit educational organization dedicated to teaching the craft of Blacksmithing in Andean Rural Communities of Venezuela.

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Our Approach

Our project is based on these pillars.

Education

Itinerant pedagogical system that allows us to teach people from rural agricultural communities.

Inclusion

Our training programs are aimed at women, men, youth and children from these communities.

Sustainability

Horseshoes and tools are made from abandoned iron found in mountains, lakes and local rivers.

Economic development

The farmers learn to make good quality horseshoes and tools, with the capacity to sell it.

¿About us?

LaCaravanaEscuela is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to teaching the craft of Blacksmithing in Andean Rural Communities of Venezuela. Employing an itinerant education system based on the four universal pillars of education, Being, Doing, Transforming and Organizing. This innovative pedagogical system has demonstrated since 2019, its efficacy in the development of the Communities visited.

The expansive effect of what has been learned transforms the financial, social and moral of the individual, a person who learns a skill such as forging, assimilates the transformative energy and brings it into his family circle and therefore, their community.

¿What do we do?

During a week-long course led by experienced blacksmiths, we train local community members to be competent blacksmiths, skilled enough to repair and manufacture the agricultural tools that they need for their daily sustenance, creating a path towards strengthening the community economy. At the end of each course, LaCaravanaEscuela leaves the members of the community trained, and provides them with a Rural Forge Workshop equipped with Tools and coal.

Together, these capabilities create not only a path to a better life, but also a community with a future promising, conditions that give young people the confidence to envision a personal future in the community and, therefore, a reason to stay.

Forging new connections

The communities chosen by LaCaravanaEscuela are essentially agricultural. For the selection of these communities, our team Evaluates factors such as communicational and educational isolation, as well as basic economic deficiencies. The villages chosen by the LaCaravanaEscuela come from a statistical accounting, based on parameters generated by a specialized team. Paired with intense field work to confirm the presence of local leadership and the willingness to take responsibility and "own" the long-term initiative.

Who we are

La Caravana Escuela is a Californian non profit 501 (c)(3) entity based in the USA that is in charge of finding donors and partenerships to support our program in Venezuela; it is formed by:

Alberto Arvelo (Chairman)
Larry Gilson (Treasurer)
Stephen Yusko (Secretary)
Gabriela Camejo (Chief operating officer)

La Caravana Escuela sister non profit organization in Venezuela is in charge of implementing the Forging Brigades in the rural isolated áreas of the Andes, and is conformed by a wide crew of people both traveling to the rural áreas and permanently working on the many fields required to make our logistics posible, both in the rural áreas and in the office:

Daniel Souto (Founder - President)
Itzamaná Nuñez (Brigade logistics)
Alex Toro (Blacksmith assistant)
Miguel Salas (Blacksmith assistant)
Jorge Chacín (Impact measurement & evaluation)
Julio Quintero (Assessment of communities as candidates for brigades)
Douglas LaCruz (Base workshop worker)
Freddy Salas (Truck driver)
Marling Rojas (Accounting - Administration)
Daniela Villegas (Communication - Media manager)
Edwuin Suarez (Art and graphic design)

Contact Us

Address
El Valle, Sector - Camellones Mérida - Venezuela
Horary
Monday - Friday 9:00 am - 7:00 pm