Environment, Voices Developments

Environmental Delegation to El Salvador

Voices on the Border invites you to join us on a delegation to El Salvador from August 1-9, 2009, to explore how the fields of law, science, education, economics, and trade affect local efforts to protect the environment and natural resources.

nancuchiname4Environmental Protection in El Salvador El Salvador is the most densely populated and the second most deforested country in the Western Hemisphere. Over 90% of all surface waters are dangerously contaminated by agricultural runoff, untreated wastewater, and waste from unregulated industry. As a result, farmers are dying of renal failure linked to agrochemicals, while children suffer from gastro intestinal diseases related to the contaminated water sources.  Deforestation results in flooding, landslides, and other disasters that have killed thousands in recent years.

The weak rule of law, lack of environmental education or access to technology and science, and economic pressures are a few of the significant barriers that citizens, government agencies, and civil society face in their efforts to restore and protect local ecosystems and natural resources.

How can developing communities restore and protect their environmental integrity? How are El Salvador’s environmental issues similar to those in other developing countries?  How can we, as members of the international community, best support Salvadorans and others in similarly situated countries achieve sustainable levels of development?  Come to El Salvador and find out!

During the 9-day trip, participants will meet with environmentalists, economists, government officials, and community leaders to discuss their efforts to achieve sustainable levels of development and protect the health and wellbeing of Salvadorans.  We will also travel around the country to witness environmental degradation and discuss the barriers that communities and environmentalists face, as well as how some are fighting back.  Our excursions will include a day-long boat trip through mangrove forests, a hike up a volcano, and other opportunities to enjoy El Salvador’s remaining natural treasures.

We welcome people of all ages and walks of life, especially students or professionals in the fields of law, science, public health, or economics. We will provide translators, so an ability to speak Spanish (while beneficial) is not required.


Cost: $900 includes food, lodging, in-country transportation, and interpretation

Deposit: Application and $100 due by July 10, 2009 (Application available at www.votb.org)

Lodging: Participants will stay in safe, comfortable guesthouses

For more info click here or contact: Thomas R. Hughes (email: voices@votb.org or phone: 202-529-2912)