Partner since: 2000

El Salvador

CESTA, the El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology, is leading the struggle for environmental conservation, sustainable transportation and community-led resource management in El Salvador. CESTA combines an array of environmental and social programs with environmental and social justice activism, positioning CESTA at the forefront of social change in El Salvador.

CESTA’s programs include a bicycle mechanics training program for young people, mangrove conservation that focuses on community land management, disability rights advocacy, traditional medicine research and education, and environmental conflict mediation supporting communities that are in conflict with multinational companies over community land exploitation and environmental contamination.

CESTA imports over 4,000 used bicycles into San Salvador each year, and these bicycles get refurbished in the EcoBici program that supports young people at risk of gang membership to build skills in bicycle mechanics, to gain a strong and positive community within CESTA and to access job opportunities at CESTA refurbishing the bicycles for sale. Similar to Bikes Not Bombs’ youth leadership development pathway, CESTA’s youth programs also build pathways for young people to access paid leadership roles within the program and organization.

Bikes shipped to CESTA directly increase access to affordable transportation to thousands of families each year, directly impact the young people who develop skills and leadership repairing the bikes, and directly support the broader environmental programs and activism of CESTA furthering large-scale social change in El Salvador.

CESTA also brings forward a vision of expanding impacts and influence at a regional level. CESTA is a major contributor and supporter of MOVIAC, the Movement of Victims Impacted and Affected by Climate Change and Megaprojects, within El Salvador and at a regional level in Central America. In the coming years, CESTA aims to develop a regional network of Central American and Mexican bicycle organizations to build the movement promoting bicycle use and rights throughout the region.

CESTA is also the El Salvadoran branch of Friends of the Earth.


In the above video CESTA's youth program, Eco-Bici, is highlighted by current participants. Video by David Branigan, former International Programs Director.

In the above video CESTA founder Ricardo Navarro speaks about Global Justice and Sustainability. Video by David Branigan, former International Programs Director.

In the above video the founder of CESTA, Ricardo Navarro, speaks about bikes. Video by David Branigan, former International Programs Director.