The Rural Alternative School (ERA) of Mutatá supports the neighboring communities of the New Reincorporation Area (NAR in Spanish) of San José de León and the peace signatories that make up the Román Ruiz Territorial Training and Reincorporation Area (ETCR), who arrived displaced from Ituango. Both nodes are located on the slopes of the Serranía de Abibe, in a rural area of the municipality of Mutatá, Urabá, Antioquia.
As of 2020, the Mutatá ERA has focused on the technological advancement of the fish farming chain in the San José de León node. To this end, collaboration dynamics have developed between both communities, particularly regarding the production of more profitable, sustainable, and affordable animal feed alternatives. This is why today they are working together in the construction of a natural concentrate plant that will benefit the San José de León fish farming project and whose surpluses will be sold to support the campesino enterprises of this region that has been heavily affected by the armed conflict.
The Mutatá ERA has partners such as the Government of Antioquia, the Antioquia Food and Nutrition Security Management -MANÁ, the Mutatá Mayor's Office, the UN Verification Mission in Colombia, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP ), the University of Antioquia, the Kroc Institute, and the Agency for Reincorporation and Normalization (ARN).
The node of San José del León
It was founded in 2017, after a group of 45 peace signatories left the ETCR of Tierralta, Córdoba, in search of land to settle with their families. Together, they purchased 21 hectares of land and they built a settlement with houses, common areas, and 56 fish tanks, between family and community. These tanks are fed by the water from La Fortuna River.
The community's fish farming business is built around these fish tanks, which make use of the area's abundant water resources. Thanks to the inputs provided for the ponds and the continuous support of PASO and other entities, more than three tons of cachama and red tilapia are grown there per month and are sold locally among wholesale and retail partners.
The construction of a footprint plate in collaboration with the Mutatá Mayor's Office and the installation of a cold room for fish processing were essential to this. These projects enhanced the evisceration process quality and aided communication between this region, nearby villages, and the closest towns. In addition to improving the quality of life for the local campesinos and families of ex-combatants who were integrated into the productive initiative, this created the best circumstances for marketing.