Grupo Sal's engagement in projects of developmental cooperation

For many years, Grupo Sal has been supporting different educational and environmental  projects in Latin America. Grupo Sal fights for a better and a life with greater dignity.  It supports projects which are featured in various programmes. Over the past 30 years, Grupo Sal has collected about one million Euros in donations.

Support for Sarayaku

Within our events with Patricia Gualinga we collect donations for help and support in Sarayaku.

Sarayaku, home of the indigenous Kichwa, is located in the ecuadorian part of the Amazon. They call themselves „people of zenith“, a term that stems from an ancient legend. The community is world-famous and is considered a symbol of indigenous resistance to the penetration of large oil companies in their territory and the claim of independence between tradition and modernity in our globalized world.

Disasters because of the climate crisis that frecuently affect the region, the fight against the explotation of non-renewable materials in the Amazon, protection of their own and the natural living space, as well as first-hand political and social education are important issues to the activists from Sarayaku.

Donations go directly to Patricia Gualinga, who then directs them to current local projects in Sarayaku.

„Casa de los Tres Mundos“

Out of all projects, Grupo Sal has been supporting “Casa de los Tres Mundos” most strongly and for the longest period of time. It has done so not only with donations but also by collaborating with “Pan y Arte”. Roberto Deimel, one of the founding members of Grupo Sal, has been the chairman of “Pan y Arte” since the beginning.

The Austrian actor Dietmar Schönherr founded the charity “Fundación de los Tres Mundos” together with his friend Ernesto Cardenal in 1987. They set themselves the goal to establish a cultural centre which fosters a national and international exchange of art: A centre meant to awaken the creativity of the native population, to rediscover lost cultural heritage, and to help the young nation find its identity.

Dietmar Schönherr and Ernesto Cardenal bought the former noble residence with Julio Cardenal’s heritage. After extensive renovation work, the international cultural centre was opened.

Dietmar Schönherr was especially concerned with helping disadvantaged children. Every year, hundreds of children and teenagers from every social background gain access to musical schools, art schools, and courses for working street kids. The “Casa” is also open to teachers as an educational institution with musical and artistic courses.

The association “Pan y Arte” was founded to give the cultural projects a solid basis. Year after year, it has collected donations to ensure sustainable project work in Nicaragua.

Quite often, the daily care in the “Casa” is the sole leisure facility apart from school or work. But the politically neutral and trans-confessional centre isn’t just a place for young people. With concerts, exhibitions, big Latin American festivals, film events, lectures, and various festivities, the centre boast a wide plethora of events. It doesn’t only attract the people of Grenada but also visitors from all over the globe. For a lot of people, the “Casa” has long become a second home. So, the “Casa de los Tres Mundos” fuels cultural integration in Latin America.

The teachers of the “Casa” have been going to the poorer and more remote living quarters since 2003 to provide music, art, or theatre courses in schools or community centres. Culture shouldn’t be a luxury. Kids need creativity, education, and care to shape their future. This is where the “Casa” comes in.

OIA (Organización Indígena de Antioquia)

Both this project and the programme “Konzert für Amazonien: Regenwald – Zwischen Bewahrung und Zerstörung” were supported by Abadio Green, Thomas Brose, and Grupo Sal.


Indigenous people have been integral to the Amazonian rainforest for more than 10,000 years. There are more than 28,000 indigenous people in Antioquia, a province in the north-western part of Columbia. The Embera, but mainly the Zenú and the Tule (Cuna) are native here.

The “Organización Indígena de Antioquia” (OIA) is an indigenous non-profit umbrella organisation which supports and finances several diverse projects together with international aid organisations and federal institutions on a local and national level.

The OIA has been defending the interests of the indigenous people living in Antioquia since 1985 by maintaining a variety of different projects concerning the preservation of their lands and the environment, fighting malnutrition, and strengthening the indigenous community and its cultural identity, bilingual upbringing, and general health.

The indigenous people are highly dependent on the rainforest. That is why the dialogue with the indigenous people and an interest in the rainforest helps reframe our view of the relationship between man and nature. This relationship is being neglected more and more in rich countries. This realisation can be revolutionary: One begins to question our destructive ways of life and economic pursuit. One also becomes aware of the economic, ecological, and social effects.

“Konzert für Amazonien” promotes the networking of the groups and institutions interested and collects donations for the activities of the OIA.

Cisterns in Northeastern Brazil

This project and the programme “Wasser ist Leben” were realised in collaboration with MISERIOR.

Malnutrition and dehydration are a huge problem in Sertão, a semi-arid area in Brazil, despite it being one of the rainiest regions in the world. Malnutrition and dehydration are closely linked to wealth inequality, despotism, and corruption.

There would be an easy solution to this problem: building cisterns to help poor families. Grupo Sal helped fund this project together with MISEREOR and a farming school called IRPAA.

The successful project of building cisterns was extended: Now, the farming school IRPAA has moved towards agriculture and livestock production, which fits the semi-arid climate. Further, it can now promote the political lobby work necessary for an agrarian reform.

Developmental aid in Los Ángeles - Malacatoya

Collapsed houses, bridges, and roads – torn away by floods.

Tens of thousands homeless and hundreds of thousands evacuated.

Crops and infrastructure destroyed entirely.

The disastrous hurricane Mitch wreaked havoc in Central America in 1998. The village Malacatoya in Grenada was just one example thereof. Here, an entire stretch of land was flooded for six days with up to 1,5 metres of water.

Initiated by Dietmar Schönherr and “Casa de los Tres Mundos”, a new village for 1,300 people, 1,000 of them children, emerged at the highest and thus safest spot between the rivers Malacatoya and Tipitapa. Right from the beginning, the affected population was part of the planning process and the implementation. 125 houses were built, and a health centre was constructed for the entire region with more than 30,000 people. Additionally, schools, kindergartens, a community centre, a youth centre, a woman’s centre, and an emergency centre were established.

Not only a lack of know-how, but also the remote location and constant bad weather make it difficult for the people to make a living on a consistent basis. A lot of them work as seasonal farmers on the plantations of large land owners under unsafe working conditions. The central points of development in the village lie in the creation of jobs and access to culture and education. We can now record a positive development, and the village population isn’t discouraged.

Child soldiers in Mosambique

This project as well as “Nuevas Visiones” was supported by Wolfram Frommlet.

Mozambique was a Portuguese colony for 500 years. It took 10 years to rid the country of its colonial oppressor. Another 16 years were taken up by the civil war. One million people died in the war and its aftermath; which made development nearly impossible. In 1992, the two fighting parties FRELIMO and RENAMO made peace. Mozambique doesn’t only have developmental, structural adjustment problems, and issues in the educational system. It also struggles in the aftermath of the war. A war which was so brutal because the East-West conflict was carried out in this territory. More than 300,000 children became orphans. Nearly one third of the population had to flee. In the early 90s, an entire generation of traumatised teenagers was living in Mozambique.

“Medico international” supported a project dedicated to rehabilitating former child soldiers. With the help of families and village communities, the project took care of 150 teenagers who were abused as child soldiers. It didn’t only offer psychotherapeutic care, but it also aimed at reintegrating the teenagers socially and economically with the help of an ambitious agricultural programme.

From the 2001 annual report in “Medico international”:

“And in Mozambique, we have helped extensively in the past years to create a positive social environment which helped pave the way for a normal life for a lot of them. This support is over now; the children have grown up.”

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