Case Story


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Initiative Name:
Youth Participation in Community Health and Environment Programs (Ecoclubs)
Initiative Status:
Completed and consolidating results
Adaptation, replication or scaling up of a previous initiative?
Modality of the initiative:
Family/Community Health and Health Promotion
Environmental Health, Sustainable Development and Intersectoral Action
ECOCLUB, Ambiente, Environment, Participación, Juvenil, Youth, Comunidad, Community

Geographic Identifiers

Countries Leading or Providing Technical Cooperation:
Countries Demanding Technical Cooperation:
El Salvador
Participating National Institutions, Organizations and/or Subregional Entities:
Argentina: Ecoclubes Argentina El Salvador: Ministerio de Salud y Asistencia Social, Secretaría de la Juventud, Instituto Salvadoreño del Seguro Social. Guatemala: Ecoclubes Guatemala, Plan Internacional, Departamento Salud Ambiental del Ministerio de Salud.
Participating International and Multilateral Organizations:
Organización Panamericana de la Salud
Initiative Start Date:
Initiative End Date:

Initiative Cost/Budget and Sources of Funding

Initiative Total Cost/Budget: (in US$)
Percentage Contributed by 3rd party sources:
OPS 100%

Initiative Description

In order to respond to today’s increasing need to protect the environment, certain initiatives like that of Ecoclubs, have emerged. The main objectives of these clubs are to create opportunities for leadership and strategies to promote and organize participation and contributions of children and adolescents in the areas of health and the environment, so that existing challenges can be effectively addressed. The idea of Ecoclubs began in Argentina in the year 1992 and was soon scaled-up in other countries until it became a global network with more than 500 active Ecoclubs in 30 countries of the Americas, Europe and Africa. In 1998 the Pan American Health Organization officially recognized these youth groups and decided to support them, especially given the similarities between the primary goals of Ecoclubs and those of the Primary Environmental Care (PEC) strategy.

The purpose of this project was to develop local capacities for the continued development and strengthening of already existing Ecoclubs in Argentina and Guatemala (where the Argentine model had already been replicated), as well as develop the capacities for the creation of new groups in El Salvador. Workshops, trainings and meetings were carried out to develop those capacities, based on an applied methodology of extensive knowledge exchange among the participating groups. Among the project’s tangible products were training materials, a methodology (guidelines) for the creation and strengthening of Ecoclubs, the creation of an Ecoclubs network in El Salvador and the establishment of 20 new Ecoclubs in Guatemala. The Pan American Health Organization and other international organizations should continue providing support for the training workshops that enable the creation of new Ecoclubs as well as continue supporting already existing groups, in order to continue the momentum and build from the achievements made thus far.

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Additional Material:


Links and Additional Resources:

Contact Information:

Name of Contact Person:
Dr. Alfonso Contreras, asesor de la OPS
Organización Panamericana de la Salud / Organización Mundial de la Salud