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Association of Rural Workers (ATC)
The Association of Rural Workers (ATC) is the lead Via Campesina member organization in Nicaragua. Founded in 1978, the ATC represents the interests of more than 50,000 campesino (small farmer) and landless rural workers families, organized in cooperatives, small landholding associations and unions.
The ATC operates a Central American Training Center in Nicaragua and trains community leaders from across Central America. This center enables the Via Campesina to offer extensive training to small-farmer leaders from throughout the region in agroecology and building powerful, democratic local organizations. The center also deploys trainers to other countries in the region for on-the-ground training. Grassroots recently helped finance renovations to the center to create a comfortable learning environment. We have also supported curriculum development and the training sessions themselves.
The ATC’s training center is crucial to one of the primary goals of the Vía Campesina in Central America, which is to develop solidarity and unity across its diverse small-farmer member organizations to promote:
- A powerful regional advocacy voice for small farmers and farmworkers
- Economic relations of equality and social justice
- Land preservation
- Food sovereignty
- Sustainable agricultural production
- Gender equality and women’s leadership
The ATC and rest of the Via Campesina in Central America collaborate closely at the regional level with similar peasant and indigenous groups in South America and Caribbean region through the Latin American Coordination of Rural Organizations (CLOC).