The Rural Alternative School (ERA) of Cali is the first urban-based ERA established by PASO Colombia. As a collaborative platform, ERA can adapt its model to the needs of the communities involved. Currently, the ERA in Cali has two nodes where social and productive projects are advancing to support ex-combatants in their social and economic reincorporation.
The Cooperative Restoring Illusions for Peace (COOPRIPAZ, for its acronym in Spanish) has 22 participants, including reincorporated ex-combatants and community members, who are committed to developing an urban agro-ecological project in Commune #20. Cooperative members and inhabitants of Siloé are establishing collective vegetable gardens to ensure food security for the participating families.
On the other hand, members of Común Valle (another ex-combatant cooperative) received the farm La Vaca Lola as a loan from the Archdiocese of Cali. In this farm, which is located in a peri-urban area of Cali, they are establishing a multipurpose farm for agricultural projects. Participants started to prepare the 5 hectares of land for crop production, a biofactory for organic fertilizer manufacture, and animal raising facilities.
The ERA of Cali has partnered with the World Food Program, the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN), the Archdiocese of Cali, and the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.