¿What is the ERA?

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The experience of the Rural Alternative School (ERA) in Miranda is a space that combines the ideas of an Alternative School and a Diverse Farm. Its development as a productive and educational gathering point had to tackle —through practical project development— different challenges in order to achieve sustainability.

The core of the ERA model has been its commitment to the integration —achieved through learning and work— of campesino communities and ex-combatants. Its shared goals and gradual success respond to the needs identified and prioritized by local communities themselves, as well as to the collective aspiration of economic reincorporation. It is, above all, a work at different levels, which brings together a multiplicity of stakeholders, and which must be understood as part of a broader process of territorial peacebuilding.

Due to the principle of iterative learning, ERAs have a high degree of flexibility that allows them to respond to the particularities of each context. The case of the ERA in Miranda is an example that underscores some aspects related to the wealth and complexity of the territory and population of Northern Cauca as a sub-region. As a result, participants and partner institutions have witnessed how, through collaborative work, it is possible to reflect on the impacts of war and the possibilities that arise from the will to build peace.