When I set out to bring people together to build sustainable and empowered communities, I never could have imagined how 2020 would challenge us and force us all to grow this year.

I’m impressed by all of our partners who have pivoted this year to immense changes brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. Their resourcefulness impresses me and gives me hope about the resilience of their businesses and communities.


Paul Zysman
Founder of Community Evolution


A growing community

This year, Community Evolution forged new partnerships with River Select Fisheries Cooperative, as well as communities working towards food security on Salt Spring Island and Haida Gwaii in British Columbia, Canada.

We look forward to working with each of them to promote co-operation and community economic development.

Growing up in the Cowichan Valley

Cowop.ca was called upon to step-up during 2020. Almost overnight their customer base grew 5-fold and they began moving 10-fold the volume of food products from local producers into the hands of their customers. Over 20 new producers joined the co-operative.

Community Evolution launched a fundraising campaign to help the Cow-Op  stay ahead of the curve of the pandemic in order to support continued economic activity for our local farmers and processors. With the support of many donors, the Cow-Op has been able to expand home delivery and grow their previous team of 1 employee to 6 employees, as well as move into a bigger warehouse.

An extra applause of appreciation goes out to the team at Community Evolution for stewarding this campaign, for your belief in our mission and for your relentless support to the Cowop over the last 2 years.

Derrick Pawlowski

Executive Director, Cow-Op

2020 has been a difficult year for us all, but that hasn’t dampened the efforts of our community partners. In every case, the vitality of these community enterprises continues, their work grows, and some have been able to prosper despite the challenges.

The year ahead promises further successes as we finally begin to put the hardships of this year behind us and look to the new projects and opportunities that are opening up, here at home and in our partner communities abroad.


John Restakis
Program Manager, Community Evolution

Growing blueberries, making wine, caring for the environment, and winning awards

Community Evolution has worked with three associations in the Andes Mountains in Ecuador since 2016. This year one of them was recognized by the Development Bank of Ecuador for their work: The Agricultural Producers and Marketers Association of Quinticusig.

The company processes 4000 liters of wine per month and sells them in 750 ml bottles. The facility employs six plant operators and three administrative workers, it also provides an income for 23 families.

Yet it wasn’t the business financials and job creation alone that impressed these judges, it was the way the community cleans and cares for the Andean páramos (fragile alpine tundra ecosystems) and how the association creates environmental awareness and ensures long-term water sustainability.

The Development Bank of Ecuador presented a first place prize in the category “Water, Páramos, and Work” to the Cotopaxi prefect Jorge Guamán Coronel, who proudly received 450,000 US dollars on behalf of the community.

Text me if you want spinach

When public markets in Bolivia’s capital had to close due to Covid-19, the Aymara Women Vegetable Producers Association of Achocalla (AFLOPHA), found a way to continue providing an essential service: local, healthy and fresh farm products for consumers.

AFLOPHA receives orders via WhatsApp (a messaging app), and delivers fresh vegetables from their greenhouses directly and safely to customers in La Paz. The women also partnered with other local farmers to sell and deliver shopping totes filled with diverse and nutritious food.  They saw daily demand soar from about 25 – 30 bags to 65 and later reaching a maximum order of 395 bags / day.

The most encouraging thing I witnessed this year was the sharing of information between two female-led farmers associations in Bolivia.

After AFLOPHA saw success selling “food baskets” via WhatsApp, they were happy to share their experience with AIMPACHA. They even gave them tote bags and exchanged hand washing knowledge. That is the spirit of community development.


Alberto Mollinedo
Field Coordinator, Community Evolution

Help Community Evolution to continue to grow

 The resilience and ingenuity of our community partners inspires our efforts every day, but it is your support that makes this work and growth possible. We would like to ask for your help today to ensure we can start 2021 in a good position and continue our important work in community empowerment.

Every donation, large or small, matters. Whether it’s a one-time donation, a monthly gift, or strengthening your support through a legacy, matching or corporate gift, we’d really love to hear from you.

And don’t forget that December is your last chance to get something good out of this crazy year, by getting a percentage of your 2020 donation back in tax credits.

Community Evolution is a Canadian registered charity (Charitable Registration Number 859619 298 RR0001), and your financial gift is tax-deductible within Canada.