CESTA was founded in El Salvador in 1980 and joined Friends of the Earth International in 1991. It is also known as the Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology, or Friends of the Earth El Salvador.
Today, CESTA has some 3100 members in 27 local groups. They regularly publish books and brochures (in Spanish) on specialised environmental issues such as agroecology, climate change, biodiversity, solid waste, among others. CESTA’s core national campaigns are: Zero Waste, No Bicycle No Planet, Healthy Diverse and Local Food, Asserting Rights Guaranteeing Life, Forests and Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Resisting Corporate Power.
The organisation participates in Friends of the Earth International campaigns on: climate justice, economic justice and resisting neoliberalism, food sovereignty, and gender justice dismantling patriarchy. CESTA also has four “ecocentres” where appropriate technologies are developed and put into practice. One of these centres has an urban focus. Another is an agroecology school where they hold workshops, involve local communities in environmental protection activities, and work to preserve biodiversity. The other two ecocentres focus on forestry and marine issues.
CESTA’s Founder, Ricardo Navarro, won the 1995 Goldman Prize.