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1974-1980: Establishment of Investigation-Action-Learning Processes: Educational, Technological, and Organizational

During this first stage FUNDAEC focused its efforts on the establishment of an investigation-action process, oriented towards the search for the integral well-being of the communities of the Norte del Cauca region in Colombia.

Founding Members of FUNDAEC alongside First Group of Students

Two groups of youth directly participated in this process, and eventually became the first graduates of the institution’s educational programs. The knowledge generated during this period contributed greatly to the content of the first educational material developed by FUNDAEC. The projects focused on the development of innovative systems of agriculture, on the use of appropriate technologies to improve the production of small parcels of land, and of bee and fish farms, and the search for effective forms of community organization.


Building and Grounds in La Arrobleda


Workshop in La Arrobleda Complex

In a few modest structures built in the village of La Arrobleda in the municipality of Santander de Quilichao, classrooms and a laboratory for science experiments and a workshop for the building of simple tools were prepared, and land was set aside for the hands-on fieldwork in animal and agriculture production (including garden plots, a pig sty, and chicken coops for laying hens and broilers). Within the same buildings, a space was reserved for the construction of a small animal-feed production center, to which other products lines were gradually added (to process jam, soy beans, and cocoa). This center was conceived as, notwithstanding its small size, an Agro-industrial Park.