La Caravana Escuela

The Caravana Escuela initiative, in Venezuela (South America), has been selected for the Open Door 2022 support program.

Caravana Escuela is a non-profit, civil society association that works for the subsistence, agricultural, and productive development of rural communities. It describes itself as “an itinerant blacksmith school” that travels to highly isolated rural Andean communities to teach the craft of iron smithing.

These communities are hard hit and often in decline due, among other things, to the lack of access to tools to work the land and cultivate crops.

And this is where La Caravana Escuela comes in, alleviating this impact by sharing its knowledge of blacksmithing. The LCE team first visits the site to learn about the conditions, the needs and the possibilities of building the forging workshops.  If possible, the team travels with their vehicles, loaded with everything needed to set up a forge workshop: Coal, forge, working tools and everything necessary to live, share and learn in the place for a few weeks.

After setting up the Schmide Camp, the LCE team applies an innovative and practical educational model that initiates a participatory and transformative process for local people. Over the course of the days, participants learn to make useful tools for their daily lives, which also has a positive impact on the site, as a lot of “trash” is collected and reused, which turns out to be useful iron for forging and making tools.

“La Caravana Escuela lights the spark for rural Andean communities to continue to forge their future .”

Currently, Lighthouse and La Caravana Escuela are working together to develop audiovisual communication and awareness materials to publicize and disseminate their work and its impact.