Educators learn from co-op organizations marking 50th anniversaries in Puerto Rico

VICTORIA, MN, July 2013 – 2013 is the golden anniversary for many in the Puerto Rican Cooperative Movement, and international cooperative educators will learn from them.

Participants of the annual Association of Cooperative Educators Institute will arrive in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan during the first week of August. Among the topics they’ll discuss on Aug. 5, 6 and 7 is the work of Monsignor Antulio Parrilla Bonilla and Father Joseph A. MacDonald who were influential in the development of Puerto Rican cooperatives during the 20th century. “It will be very interesting because we will see firsthand how organizations created five or six decades ago, such as Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples de Puerto Rico, Instituto de Cooperativismo at the University of Puerto Rico, and the newspaper Puerto Rico Cooperativista have endured and adapted to the times,” says ACE Executive Administrator Sarah Pike. She adds, “each of these has contributed so much to cooperative education.” In addition to reviewing the work of Puerto Rican cooperatives, participants will share initiatives of their countries such as the cooperative research network in Canada, crowdfunding and students’ international development models from the United States, and the cooperation between fishers and professionals toward protecting the environment of Costa Rica. The overall theme of the Institute is “regenerating the economy through cooperation.” The Institute will open with keynote speaker Gar Alperovitz whose newest book is What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution about finding hope in a new economy that makes more use of cooperatives and other systems.

Participants will also visit worker-owned Mar-Coop Molding, and consumer-owned co-op garage/gas station Cooperativa Gasolinera Choferil Carmelo Carrión Calderón that have made a social and economic difference to their communities. Five cooperators will also be recognized for contributions to cooperative education. Insurance cooperative Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples de Puerto Rico will be thanked for its extraordinary assistance to ACE, and North Dakota’s Bill Patrie of the Common Enterprise Development Corporation will receive the John Logue Award, recognizing his passion for developing local cooperatives over several decades. Young cooperator Katie Campbell of Aynah, a campus group founded in Iowa, is honored for cultivating the organization that matches students and community development needs, and Jesús Andrés Aranda will be feted For Immediate Release – ACE in Puerto Rico 2013 1 for close to 60 years as a cooperative leader and educator in Puerto Rico.

Dan Campbell, managing editor of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Cooperatives magazine published in Washington D.C., will also be honored for educating while communicating about co-ops. ACE members are educators, researchers, communicators, and students and developers of cooperatives and credit unions, primarily in Canada, United States and Puerto Rico. An annual Institute, held in a different city each year, allows members to learn from one another and their host region, and highlights new learning about cooperatives and credit unions. Learn more at More information on the 2013 ACE Institute is posted in English, French and Spanish on


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