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ECHO El Salvador has expanded it’s reach and is wrapping up its first training session for educators and health promoters in the department of Morazán.
With the help of a great local coordination team and support from from both the ministry of health and education, we were able to compile an impressive list of participants who have been coming together every saturday to receive the training courses from the team of experts from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine.
We learned a lot from our work down in the Bajo Lempa which prompted us make some changes to the program here in the East. For example, during our Morazán conscription, we made sure to invite not only teachers but their directors as well, so that once the training is over the school teams will have an easier time planning and replicating the classes in their respective institutions.
We also hope to have greater success with local capacitation in the communities, which is why we invited Daniel Perez, Morazán’s health promoter supervisor, to attend this first training session. Not only did he accept but has also offered to assist us in the coordination and monitoring of his team once they are on the ground and imparting classes.
In the Bajo Lempa, we trained 60 participants from six different communities and in Morazán, a total of 75 participants from 16 municipalities will receive training.
Stay tuned to see their progress.
When Nayib Bukele was inaugurated as El Salvador’s new president on June 1, the ceremony—open to the public for the first time—was, like several other opening gambits of the new administration, more symbolic than substantive. Held outdoors in the historic center of downtown San Salvador just blocks from the bustle of street vendors and the wheeze of city buses, the event was squarely on brand with Bukele’s populist messaging and widely promoted as the first glimpse of a “new era” of governance in El Salvador: inclusive, accessible, and transparent.
However, as Bukele marks his first 100 days as president and the substance of his administration begins to take form, Salvadoran popular movement organizations warn that far from any “new ideas” (for which Bukele’s party, Nuevas Ideas, is named), Bukelismo signals a return to the all-too-familiar neoliberal program of wealth reconsolidation and acquiescence to empire, albeit rebranded in the populist, “post-ideological” rhetoric of our times.
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About the author: The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) is a grassroots solidarity organization that has been supporting the Salvadoran people’s struggle for social and economic justice since 1980.
This past summer was full of really exciting visits. The El Salvador staff traveled to the U.S. to take part in the annual board meeting in Maryland, and two delegations visited us here in El Salvador. The first was an awesome group of young chess coaches and the second was a wonderfully dedicated group of staff from the renowned Carlos Rosario International adult charter school in Washington, D.C.
This marks the fourth year the group has come to explore, learn and exchange with the people of El Salvador. Recently, they have focused on creating an intentional partnership with the Amando Lopez community school in the Bajo Lempa. The reason the delegates come is not only to increase the cultural awareness they possess for Salvadorans, a population that makes up the majority of their students back home; but also to be able to exchange knowledge with the educators and leaders of the communities that they visit.
They held meetings with inspiring groups working on youth development, women’s empowerment, LGBTQ rights, and environmental justice. They traveled to Morazán and learned about the history while listening to hopeful opinions about a peaceful future.
In the Bajo Lempa, they facilitated various workshops with the educators and community members on topics such as Self-care in the classroom, reading techniques, the risks of social media, among others. They themselves received workshops in turn from the community’s school staff which you can see more of below in the video.
We want to extend our gratitude to the people behind the scenes who made this an unforgettable delegation, and to those who made donations to rural education throughout the various campaigns. With this money, the Amando Lopez school will improve infrastructure, purchase necessary teaching material, musical instruments and fix school computers.
Until Next Year!
This year the Learner’s team grew and we were lucky to welcome back Jack and Jeremy and welcome for the first time Justin, Andrew, Quinn and Daniel.
Not only did the Learners’ team grow since their last visit but the group that participated in the chess camp grew as well. Enthusiastic young people from six neighboring communities came to Amando Lopez to join in on the fun activities Learner’s team had planned.
Before heading to the Bajo Lempa, the group explored San Salvador, the countries capital city. They hiked a volcano, walked around the historical center, leathered about important Salvadoran history, ate pupusas and even visited the Chess Federation of El Salvador. In the Bajo Lempa, when they weren’t planning chess, the team got to tour the community, it’s schools, the forests and even a local zoo.
Close to 100 players participated in this year’s tournament and of course, everyone was a winner!
In the end, the Learner’s team sat down with the community to help them develop their own local chess club which we are very excited about.
We know a lot of planning and fundraising went into this delegation which is why we want to thank Learners Without Borders, the young coaches for spending a part of their summer with us, and their families and friends who made this all possible.
Remember AJUDEM, that awesome and hardworking youth group in Morazán that serves numerous communities of Ciudad Segundo Montes and in the mountains bordering Honduras?
Well, VOICES recently signed a new contract with them to support their programs, that we believe contribute to a culture of learning, well-being and non-violence that is desperately needed in the regions we serve.
Below, you can see how one of their programs, the School of Nutrition, plays an important role in the lives of the youth and their families.
We’re excited to share with you what we’ve been up to and where we plan on going. Click here to read the full report.