Educational Institutions


  • Saint Paul, MN

Mission Statement

Carmen Pampa Fund generates financial and human resources to assist the growth and development of the Unidad Academica Campesina - Carmen Pampa (UAC-CP), a college serving impoverished rural families of Bolivia through education, research, production, and community projects.

Main Programs

  1. General Support of Scholarship
Service Areas



CPF supports the College in Bolivia, which primarily serves students from six different provinces in northern Bolivia. The College's community service extension projects serve communities within the geographically diverse Department of La Paz (2001 Census
reported a population of 2,350,466).

ruling year


Executive Director


Dr. Hugh Smeltekop



Carmen Pampa Fund, Bolivia, Latin America, poverty, indigenous, education, college, university, women, empowerment, job training, Aymara, Quechua,

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Also Known As






Physical Address

2048 Hamline Ave. N.

Roseville, MN 55113


Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Higher Education Institutions (B40)

Other Food, Agriculture, and Nutrition N.E.C. (K99)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?


Self-reported by organization

During it's 22-year history, the impact of the College on social and economic development in Bolivia's rural area has been profound. Graduates of the College have markedly improved income levels (300% increase in income between graduates and their parents' incomes) and are serving targeted rural areas (91% of graduates report that their work directly impacts the rural sector). Graduates of the College deeply value their education and consider the College responsible for their access to new opportunities. Many alumni are doing outreach work by developing independent projects; others are entrepreneurs and small holders who are models of best practices; still others are public employees (teachers, nurses, etc.) or are serving the civil society as community leaders (95% of graduates report that they were employed in the past year). Carmen Pampa Fund has contributed to that success by providing financial support to subsidize the cost of higher education to make it affordable to young people.


Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

General Support of Scholarship

General support of scholarship supports all UAC-CP students who demonstrate scholastic achievement and extreme need.



Population(s) Served

Young Adults (20-25 years) -- currently not in use





Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Like other developing countries, one of the principle challenges in Bolivia is the difficulty of ensuring that marginalized populations—particularly people living in poor, rural areas—have adequate and affordable access to education that will provide technical training, job readiness, and business development skills to contribute to the economy in rural communities and throughout the country. Women and indigenous populations are at an even greater disadvantage when it comes to accessing equal educational opportunities.

    Although there are many universities in Bolivia, the majority are expensive, private, and located in an urban setting making them inaccessible to most of the rural population. Bolivia's National Education System (NES) recognizes the limited amount of adequate educational opportunities and notes that the Bolivian government does not offer the rural area enough sufficient alternatives to help young people finish school and allow them to obtain work that would bring increased wages and benefits.

    The UAC-CP was founded in 1993 as a response to the need for affordable opportunities for higher education for rural indigenous populations. Located in the rugged Cordillera Real Mountain Range northwest of Bolivia's capital city, the Unidad Académica Campesina-Carmen Pampa (UAC-CP or the College) addresses the need of providing young Bolivian men and women of impoverished and marginalized populations with equal access to higher education, technical skill training, and job preparedness. The founding mission and vision of the College, combined with understanding and respect for local indigenous culture, is what makes the UAC-CP's approach unique in its ability to address the social and economic challenges by transferring knowledge and skills to the young people who come from that area and are dedicated to continue living in the rural area.

    The mission of Carmen Pampa Fund is to look for and secure financial support and human resources to support the College's work.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    With an average annual enrollment of approximately 600 regular students and 100 thesis students each year, the College focuses on the development of local human capital to promote economic and social prosperity. The College attracts young people who hail from rural areas to study and learn the critical thinking and research skills needed to support and improve the quality of life not only for themselves but for their communities, country, and global world.

    The UAC-CP offers five degree-granting programs: Agronomy, Nursing, Education, Veterinary Science, and Ecotourism. The areas of study represent the most critical needs and challenges of Bolivia's rural sector and capture the most opportunity for economic growth and development.

    Within those five academic departments, the College offers a unique overarching curriculum that incorporates five core components: 1. Academics; 2. Social Service Extension; 3. Production; 4. Research; and 5. Leadership. The focus on these five educational components ensures that UAC-CP graduates are academically prepared professionals with solid practical training in project management, small business and production development; research methods; and leadership competencies.

    Though the College educates young people who come from throughout the Department of La Paz, its extension services specifically focus on people who live in the 20 local communities in the Municipality of Coroico (in which the UAC-CP is located) and the neighboring Municipality of Coripata. For example, in recent years, the College has developed a series of research projects applicable to the area with regard to agriculture, health care, tourism, animal science, and education. In addition to providing UAC-CP students with applicable job and life skills, these projects have helped to improve production, simplify work, and improve living conditions.

    In addition to academic equality, the College also places an emphasis on providing equal access to men and women. In a country where the high school graduation rate in the rural area is stunningly low for girls, the College is proud that 55% of the student body is composed of women and 52% of graduates are women, as well. With a focus on gender issues and equality, the College demonstrates its commitment to empower women to be leaders and agents of change outside of their traditional roles.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    The internal management structure of Carmen Pampa Fund includes Dr. Hugh Smeltekop, Executive Director, as well as three part-time staff. All are U.S. based except Sarah Mechtenberg, a U.S. citizen who lives in Bolivia and has worked for more than 10 years at the College. Ms. Mechtenberg provides day-to-day oversight, problem resolution and reporting on progress and challenges. She and Hugh Smeltekop devote substantial time and effort to supporting the College in rolling-out the program improvements. In collaboration with College leadership and staff the CPF team ensures projects at the College proceed in a timely and financially responsible manner.

    Fr. Alejandro Mamani serves as Director General of the UAC-CP. He is assisted by Andrés Pardo, Vice Director. The College is academically accredited by the Catholic University of Bolivia.

    Carmen Pampa Fund's role at the College involves regular, formal, and informal communications. For the past six years the two organizations have worked together formally, first through a Joint Planning and Operating Committee (JPOC) and now as members of committees of an official Board of Directors. The Board and its committee members meet twice a year in Carmen Pampa, Bolivia, and are composed of key senior staff from the College, members of Carmen Pampa Fund, the Catholic University of La Paz, Bolivia, and the Franciscan Missionary Sisters. The Board is responsible for strategic planning and for developing and monitoring annual plans and associated budgets.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Tracking graduates has served as an important tool for evaluation and monitoring the College's success and progress. In 2012 a comprehensive survey of UAC-CP graduates was developed and implemented to determine whether the College is realizing its mission of adequately preparing young Bolivians to respond to the socio-economic challenges facing people who live and work in the rural area.

    The data from the survey allowed for an examination of the effectiveness of the UAC-CP's model to reduce poverty by providing opportunities in higher education to impoverished, indigenous men and women. The report concluded that, overall, the UAC-CP is achieving its mission. “The UAC-CP is not only reducing rates of poverty within the graduate population, but it is also indirectly reducing poverty in indigenous rural populations through the work that is being done by its graduates."

    Feedback from graduates not only helps to measure success, it also provides insightful information to help guide the College's strategic planning process with regard to programming and resource development.

    As the fundraising arm of the College, Carmen Pampa Fund measures and evaluates success and progress according to fundraising goals that are developed at the beginning of each fiscal year.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    As of July 1, 2015, 520 men and women have graduated from the College. Notable data captured from the UAC-CP alumni survey include:

    • 95% of UAC-CP graduates were employed during 2012.
    • 91% work in jobs that support Bolivia's rural area.
    • 89% are employed in the same field of their area of study.
    • 72% found jobs they wanted after graduation.
    • 48% of UAC-CP graduates are women.
    • 42% of alumni have advanced degrees.
    • 300% increase in income reported between UAC-CP graduates and their parents' generation.

    Although graduation rates have significantly increased in recent years with the addition of a Research Institute, the College strives for a higher graduation rate. The College also is focused on implementing a Business Institute that, much like the Research Institute, will provide students with resources necessary to develop, write, and defend a business plan in order to graduate. The Business Institute will provide graduates with more specific skills to better prepare them for serving as business owners and leaders in Bolivia.

    The need for higher education continues to exist in Bolivia's rural area. As long as the need exists, the College is dedicated to preparing young people to be agents of change capable of responding to the needs of Bolivia's marginalized populations. The College anticipates hundreds of young men and women still to come who have yet to be empowered by higher education.

Service Areas



CPF supports the College in Bolivia, which primarily serves students from six different provinces in northern Bolivia. The College's community service extension projects serve communities within the geographically diverse Department of La Paz (2001 Census
reported a population of 2,350,466).

Additional Documents

Social Media


Funding Needs

Carmen Pampa Fund raises operating funds and special project funds for the UAC-CP, a unique college located in Bolivia's rural Nor Yungas area.  CPF prioritizes funding for its Scholarship Partners Program, which helps pay for student costs: tuition, room, and board.


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Carmen Pampa Fund
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.




Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Dr. Hugh Smeltekop


Hugh is responsible for development activities at CPF and managing communication and strategic vision at the College. In his role as executive director, Hugh also meets with individual donors, foundations, and private businesses interested in supported students and special projects at the UAC-CP.

Hugh previously served as Director at the College during the 2013 academic year and was Vice Director for five years. In total, he has more than twelve years of experience at the College. During his tenure there, he taught classes, developed and implemented extension and research projects, and coordinated international projects with collaborating universities. He is also credited with developing the College's successful Research Institute and Thesis Boot Camp in 2006.

Hugh holds a Ph.D. in Agronomy from Michigan State University and an M.S. in Soil Science from South Dakota State University.



Mark Leahy

Ameriprise Financial

Term: July 2014 -


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