Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date



El Salvadore; CrediCampo


The study of community development is constantly exploring new methods and ideas to improve the living conditions and opportunities for people who live in poverty. Governments, financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, and grassroots community groups coordinate efforts to bring about profound change and growth through a variety of mechanisms such as public grants, education, small business development, and microfinance. Whereas the study of community development is rarely viewed as a scientific endeavor, the qualitatively measured relationships between communities and outside development intervention may allow for more understanding and exploration into the field.

Working to include and utilize the abilities of local community members is a primary goal for many developing countries. El Salvador is unique in that it gives legal status to community development organizations, and with it, the power to partner with outside development institutions. This paper explores community development in rural El Salvador by examining the relationship between a local community development organization and two microfinance institutions it partners with. The following questions guide the case study: do community development services provided by microfinance institutions result in better organized and transparent community organizations? Furthermore, is the community organization more capable of soliciting and managing development projects? In rural El Salvador, community organizations serve as the first and sometimes only resource for community development; therefore their sustainability and success could potentially have a profound effect on the community and, to an extent, the future of the country.