DGH was born out of work that began in the communities of La Estancia, El Salvador, a remote mountainous area that was heavily affected by loss and destruction during the country's twelve-year civil war. In the post-civil war period of the mid 1990s, dedicated volunteers in the area came together to form DGH in order to continue supporting the work they had begun earlier in these communities.
DGH has been accompanying the people of La Estancia ever since, helping to build a bridge connecting these remote communities to the rest of the world, and taking part in projects in the areas of health, education, environment, agriculture, income generation and community development. In the area of health, we have seen nutrition improve dramatically; we have also seen the near-elimination of preventable diseases through comprehensive, community-based efforts.
In 2001, members of the community joined together to form La Asociación de Campesinos para el Desarrollo Humano (Peasants for Human Development, C. D. H.), which was officially recognized as a Salvadoran nonprofit organization in August 2004. Its mission is "to bring together, strengthen and organize our communities in order to find solutions to the common problems we face, bringing about comprehensive human development."
Today, DGH supports C. D. H. as it runs the local community health center and six early childhood development centers (CIDIs) as well as broader community health and development projects.
Currently C. D. H. has 15-20 staff who oversee multiple programs. In health, these projects include:
On the education front, a large part of their work is directed toward CIDIs which includes six “kinders” or early childhood development programs and a childhood literacy program called Reach Out and Read. For economic development, C.D.H. has begun cultivating its parcela, a demonstration plot of land, with corn, and has established a microcredit lending system.