Sales of the Co-op’s own-brand Fairtrade Argentinian wine range were the main source of funding for the school, which will specialise in agricultural studies for 14 to 18 year olds.
The Julio César Martínez school, named after La Riojana co-operative’s first president, is in the isolated village of Tilimuqui, in La Rioja province. Until now, children from the area were only offered schooling up to the age of 14.
It was officially opened on May 12, two years after the opening of the Tilimuqui water project, La Riojana’s first joint Fairtrade project with the Co-op. It provided the village with a much-needed fresh water supply.
The school’s first intake in March welcomed 33 pupils on board and the school’s capacity is expected to reach 300 on completion.