Carmen Pampa Fund (St. Paul, MN)


  • Name:Joel Mugge
  • Title:Interim Program Director

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Carmen Pampa Fund
  • Address:1821 University Avenue
    Suite S218
    St. Paul, MN 55104
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:651-641-1588

Organization Web

User Phone

  • Direct phone:612-384-9012

User Email


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  • Mission:
  • The Carmen Pampa Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, founded in 1999 to support students of the Unidad Académica Campesina de Carmen Pampa (UAC-CP), a rural unit (unidad) of the Catholic University of Bolivia. The UAC-CP helps rural Bolivians break the cycle of extreme poverty by providing crucial skills and knowledge to the region’s impoverished youth. The College serves the indigenous people of the Andes Mountains in northwest Bolivia through academically rigorous and affordable education and by establishing effective health, research and community development initiatives in the region. The education of students enables them to create economic opportunity, the profits of which then go back to the College, whose goal is to eventually become self-sustaining. Degree programs in Veterinary Science, Agronomy (Sustainable Agriculture), Primary Education, Public Health Nursing, and Ecotourism are grounded in the socioeconomic needs of the region and prepare young professionals to contribute to the development of their communities. The College and Carmen Pampa Fund share a vision of economic, environmental, and social justice for the people of Bolivia and for all marginalized people. Carmen Pampa Fund’s mission is to support the College until it becomes self-sustaining.

    At the core of the College’s mission is the principle that long-term eradication of poverty must begin with education. An educated workforce leads to economic growth, creating local jobs and prosperous communities. The cycle leads to more and better education, lifting first individual students, then their families, then villages, then regions. The need for sustainable growth is great in the rural Bolivian Andean highlands, amongst the poorest areas in all of South America.

    By providing a means for sustainable subsistence and income generation, the College also contributes to social and political stability in the rural Carmen Pampa region. Viable local economic opportunity preempts urban migration, illegal coca cultivation, and other desperate choices made by rural people to support their families. In recognition of this vital work, in 2003 the United Nations Subcommittee designated the UAC-CP as one of the seven most effective initiatives worldwide for the Eradication of Poverty. The panel sought to honor programs that are innovative, sustainable, and replicable.

    Carmen Pampa Fund seeks to assist UAC-CP, through its academic programs and outreach initiatives, in creating a new generation of educated indigenous citizens and community leaders, by providing both education and opportunity for rural economic growth. In so doing, profitable student-based initiatives will return funds to the College, gradually making the entire enterprise self-sustaining. Creating an educated citizenry raises the local standard of living for all community members, which improves nutrition and health, builds infrastructure capable of sustaining community, maintains the value of indigenous languages and cultures as central to community identity and individual self-esteem, and promotes avenues for economic growth which are not dependent on destruction of natural resources. Most importantly, as the children of each succeeding generation become educated, poverty begins to abate. As knowledge expands, poverty contracts.

    The College also has a commitment to gender equity unparalleled in Bolivian education. Women currently constitute 49% of the student body, and are represented in all five departments. Programs address issues that deeply affect the everyday lives of rural women such as child and maternal health, family nutrition, subsistence farming, rearing of small livestock, and low literacy levels.

  • History:
  • Carmen Pampa is a small village located in the Andes highlands three hours northeast of La Paz, Bolivia. Planning for the university began in 1990 as a joint effort between the Catholic University of Bolivia, the Missionary Franciscan Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, the Diocese of Coroico in Bolivia, and the sub-central Villa Nilo—governing body of the Aymara Indian nation. Motivated by the inadequacy of secondary school education for lifting rural people out of poverty, this new university was founded to create skilled professionals who would become sensitive and impassioned leaders, addressing the most pressing needs of their rural communities. The College serves young people from rural communities throughout the Department of La Paz and from the massive urban slums— populated largely by displaced rural people— surrounding the capital city of La Paz.

    With only 54 students enrolled the first year of operation in 1993, the college has experienced tremendous growth. September 2007 found 650 students enrolled in the school’s five specialized degree programs: Veterinary Science, Agronomy (Sustainable Agriculture), Public Health Nursing, Primary Education (Teaching), and Ecotourism. These initial areas of study were chosen as a direct result of collaboration between College founders and local citizens, who identified the ways in which the College could affect maximum and immediate change in the student’s communities. With the goal of providing both quality education for students and much needed health and development services for area communities, the College is modeled on the U.S. land-grant university, taking a four-pronged approach to education: academic, extension, research, and production.

    In 1999, Carmen Pampa Fund (CPF) was established in St. Paul, Minnesota, with the mission of supporting the Unidad Académica Campesina de Carmen Pampa through fundraising efforts among foundations, religious groups, and individuals. Other activities of CPF include disseminating information about the College in the US, recruiting volunteers to serve at the College, facilitating relationships with US Colleges and Universities, and participating in the Joint Planning and Oversight Council which manages the relationship between Carmen Pampa Fund and the College.

    As a result of the strong mandate by both local populations and the indigenous leadership, the College is deeply rooted in the communities it serves and committed to meeting their felt needs through all of its activities. In just over 13 years, the College has become a vibrant catalyst for change in a region where the average family income is stunningly low. The first graduates are working to improve life for their families and their communities. In addition, the College’s community health, research and sustainable economic development projects reach out to the surrounding region.

    With almost two-thirds of its people living in poverty, Bolivia is the poorest country in South America. The poorest people in Bolivia are the Aymara and Quechua. Health statistics tell the story of a people bound to poverty by the nonexistence of education or jobs training. For every 1,000 children born, 129 die before their first birthday. More than 65 percent of all children are chronically anemic and malnourished. These are statistics that only education can improve. This is the story that the Unidad Académica Campesina de Carmen Pampa will rewrite.

  • Year established:1999
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:8
  • Advisory board size:0
  • Staff size:5

Board and Executive Names

  • Board Members / Trustees:
  • Ann Leahy, Chair
    Sister Damon Nolan
    Dick Leahy
    Ed Flahavan
    Barbara Jeanetta
    Mary Pat Lee
    Kristine Rauenhorst
    Susan Vento

  • Executive Director / President:
  • Sue Wheeler, Interim Executive Director

Staff Names

  • Key Staff:
  • Joel Mugge, Interim Program Director


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:Operating
  • Tax ID:41-1929480

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