civil war, Historical Memory, human rights, Liberation Theology, solidarity, U.S. Relations, Voices Developments

Nuestras Raíces

Nuestra organización incluye la palabra “frontera” en ella, porque nacimos en la frontera de Honduras y El Salvador, en un campo de refugiados llamado Colomoncagua.

Nuestros fundadores norteamerican@s fueron trabajadores humanitarios en el campamento, nuestros fundadores fueron médicos en plena guerra, nuestros fundadores fueron dadores de santuario, que arriesgaron sus vidas para exponer la verdad y ayudar al pueblo salvadoreño.

Ya se trate de escudos humanos, infraestructura a gran escala, legalización de tierras, financiación de bancos comunitarios … Para VOCES, todo comenzó allí. Para VOCES, el acompañamiento sigue siendo todo.

Our Roots

Our organization includes the word “border” in it, because we were born on the border of Honduras and El Salvador, in a refugee camp called Colomoncagua.

Our North American founders were humanitarian workers in the camp, our founders were doctors in the midst of war, our founders were sanctuary givers, who risked their lives to expose the truth and help the Salvadoran people.

Whether it’s human shields, large-scale infrastructure, land legalization, community bank financing … For VOCES, it all started there. For VOCES, accompaniment is still everything.

COVID 19, human rights, News Highlights, Youth Development

Great Music for a Great Cause!

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It’s that time of year again for Voices on the Border’s Solidarity Concert!

 Last year, we surpassed our fundraising goal of $2,000, and this year we hope to do the same. We will be fundraising to pay the amazing bands that will be performing and to support a Sexual Health Peer Education program run by adolescents and young adults in the rural department of Morazan.

 

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ConciertoBenefico 2021 event banner

¡Es esa época del año nuevamente para el Concierto Solidario de Voces en la Frontera!

El año pasado, superamos nuestra meta de recaudación de fondos de $2,000 y este año esperamos hacer lo mismo. Recaudaremos fondos para pagar a las increíbles bandas que se presentarán y para apoyar un programa de educación de pares sobre salud sexual dirigido por adolescentes y adultos jóvenes en el departamento rural de Morazán.

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Climate Change, Disasters, Environment, Food Security, human rights, Public Health, Water/Agua

EL DIA DE LA TIERRA

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earth day 2021 votb_esppCada 22 de abril se celebra el Día Internacional de la Tierra, ocasión oportuna para reflexionar sobre lo que está pasando a nuestro planeta y generar conciencia sobre la necesidad de cambiar drásticamente paradigmas y comportamientos individuales y colectivos que devastan la tierra.

La tierra es nuestra casa común que se formó hace aproximadamente 4,550 billones de años, su evolución hizo posible las condiciones para que surgiera la vida, unos mil millones de años después. La capa de ozono y el campo magnético terrestre bloquean la radiación solar dañina, mientras que la atmósfera retiene la energía solar suficiente para un clima y una temperatura idónea para la vida, así mismo el agua y la existencia de diversos procesos físicos y químicos hacen posible la vida de animales y vegetales, que interactúan en un equilibrio dinámico y sustentable.

La comunidad científica estima que en el planeta existen 8.7 millones de especies, de las cuales apenas han sido registradas 1.3 millones, lo que significa que aproximadamente el 86% de las especies terrestres y el 91% de las marinas aún no se conocen. La vida del ser humano depende de esta riqueza biológica; no obstante, el ser humano es la única especie que está provocando su extinción. Según la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza, UICN 5.200 especies de animales vertebrados se encuentran en grave peligro de desaparecer.

Una de las razones principales de esta pérdida de especies es la deforestación, de acuerdo a la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, FAO entre los años 1990 y 2016 se han eliminado 129 millones de hectáreas de bosque, siendo la principal responsable la agricultura comercial a gran escala, que origina el 40% de la deforestación a nivel del planeta y el 70% en América Latina; la minería y la expansión urbana son otras de las causas importantes.

Aunado a la agricultura industrial está el uso indiscriminado de plaguicidas, en la actualidad se fabrican y emplean cada año unos 5,000 millones de toneladas de plaguicidas tóxicos, lo que repercute directamente en la contaminación de los ecosistemas y en la extinción de especies, como por ejemplo las abejas. Un análisis realizado a escala europea publicado por la organización Greenpeace señala que dos terceras partes del polen recolectado por las abejas está contaminado por insecticidas, acaricidas, fungicidas y herbicidas comercializados por las compañías Bayern, Syngenta y Basf. Lo que está provocando la muerte de millones de colmenas.

Las abejas son imprescindibles para la vida del ser humano, de acuerdo a la FAO, existen 100 especies de cultivos que abastecen el 90% de los alimentos del mundo, las abejas polinizan más del 70% de ellos. También, polinizan más de 25.000 especies de plantas con flores. Sin estos insectos la actividad agrícola prácticamente desaparecería, generando consecuencias catastróficas.

Otra forma de cómo el ser humano deteriora la tierra es mediante la generación y disposición inapropiada de una impresionante cantidad de desechos sólidos, al respecto el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente, PNMA establece que en el mundo se producen entre 7,000 y 10,000 millones de toneladas de basura por año y que una gran parte de esta no se dispone adecuadamente, provocando un serio problema de contaminación ambiental y de salud pública.

La quema de combustibles fósiles es otra forma de contaminación ambiental que impacta negativamente en la salud de la población, pero que además junto a la degradación forestal, aumentan la concentración de gases de efecto invernadero en la atmósfera, provocando un peligroso cambio climático que ya ha cobrado miles de vidas y amenaza seriamente la existencia del ser humano.
Lo que le sucede a la tierra, les sucede a las personas, si nos interesa que nuestro planeta siga siendo un lugar habitable es necesario que todos asumamos la responsabilidad de cuidarlo.

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EARTH DAY

 
Every April 22nd, International Earth Day is celebrated as an opportune occasion to reflect on what is happening to our planet and raise awareness about the need to drastically change paradigms and individual and collective behaviors that devastate the earth.

The earth is our common home that was formed approximately 4.5 billion years ago, its evolution made possible the conditions for life to emerge, about a billion years later. The ozone layer and the earth’s magnetic field block harmful solar radiation, while the atmosphere retains enough solar energy for a climate and an ideal temperature for life, likewise water and the existence of various physical and chemical processes make life possible for animals and plants, which interact in a dynamic and sustainable balance.

The scientific community estimates that there are 8.7 million species on the planet, of which only 1.3 million have been recorded, which means that approximately 86% of terrestrial species and 91% of marine species are still unknown. While human beings depend on the aforementioned biological wealth; they are the only species in existence actively contributing to its extinction. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), “5,200 species of vertebrate animals are in serious danger of disappearing.”

One of the main reasons for this loss of species is deforestation. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 129 million hectares of forest have been eliminated between 1990 and 2016. The reason: large-scale commercial agriculture, which causes 40% of deforestation worldwide and 70% in Latin America, while mining and urban sprawl are other major causes.

Industrial agriculture also brings with it the indiscriminate use of pesticides. Currently, some 5,000 million tons of toxic pesticides are being manufactured and used every year, which has a direct impact on the pollution of ecosystems and the extinction of species, such as bees. An analysis carried out on a European scale published by Greenpeace indicates that two-thirds of the pollen collected by bees is contaminated by insecticides, acaricides, fungicides and herbicides marketed by companies like Bayern, Syngenta and Basf. These companies are causing the death of millions of hives.

Bees matter because they are essential for human life, according to FAO, there are 100 species of crops that supply 90% of the world’s food and bees pollinate more than 70% of them. Bees also pollinate more than 25,000 species of flowering plants. Without these insects, agricultural activity would practically disappear, generating catastrophic consequences.

Another way humans are helping the earth deteriorate is through the generational and inappropriate disposal of impressive amounts of solid waste. The United Nations Environment Program (PNMA) estimates that humans produce between 7,000 and 10,000 million tons of garbage per year and that a large part of it is not disposed of properly, causing serious environmental and public health problems.

The burning of fossil fuels is another form of environmental pollution that negatively impacts the health of the population, but also, together with forest degradation, increases the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, causing dangerous climate change that has already claimed thousands of lives and seriously threatens human existence.

What happens to the earth, happens to the people, if we are interested in our planet continuing to be a habitable one, it is necessary that we all assume the responsibility of taking care of it.

Agua/Aqua, Climate Change, COVID 19, Disasters, News Highlights

Tropical Storm Amanda Ravages El Salvador

d4922581873ab499e55e7720a3ae7895On Sunday May 31st, the country of El Salvador issued a State of Emergency and Red Alert, after nearly two days of the constant terrential winds and rains carried by Tropical Storm Amanda. The storm touched down in various parts of the country and is leaving mild to large-scale devastation in it’s path.

The hardest hit departments are San Salvador, Sonosonate, La Libertad, and San Vicente.

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Over 2,200 families have been evacuated, 44 government-run shelters have been set up, 34 major landslides have been reported, 26 entire sectors are underwater, hundreds of trees, electrical posts and street lights are down, many of the country’s tunnels have flodded, and entire coastal communities have been swept away.

At the time of this writing, 11 people have lost their their lives, including a young child.

“At the national level, in 48 hours we had up to 400 millimeters of water in some areas of the country, which is more than 10% of what falls in a year in the territory,” explained the Minister of the Environment, Fernando López.”

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Unfortunately, our communities are also being hit hard by the storm. In the Bajo Lempa, entire crops have been lost and communities are on high alert for the possibility of flooding of the Lempa River.

The President of ACUDESBAL, by 3 p.m. 1,000 cubic meters of rain per second had fallen and by 5 p.m., they expect 1,500 cubic meters per second of rain to fall. Communities are being told to keep a close eye on the river and constantly verify its level and to work with local civil protection teams that are being assisted by the Army.

Communities Amando Lopez and Octavio Ortiz have also begun to clean and adecaute their casa comunals in the event families need to be evacuated.

In Morazán, the affects of the storm vary depending on the location. In Segundo Montes, things are relatively calm with no major damages reported except for downed trees.

However, places like San Carlos, San Francisco Gotera and Jocoatique are facing flooding and have had to evacuate various communities. Rio Torola is also being closely monitored and communities are preparing to evacuate if necessary.

tormenta-amandaAccording to the Ministry of Environment (MARN) the storm is supposed to lessen over the next 12 hours before eventually making it’s way towards northern Guatemala. MARN also projects that by the storm’s end, nine rivers, including the Jiquilisco Bay will overflow.

Our team remains in direct contact with our communities and groups in order to render whatever aid necessary, and we’ll continue to keep you all informed about the storm’s progression.

In the meantime, we ask that you keep El Salvador in your hearts and your prayers as it deals with yet another natural catastrophe during a most inopportune time.

delegation, solidarity

Creating an Intentional Partnership

Educators from both Washington D.C. and community Amando Lopez began an intentional partnership aimed at improving the educational environment of the community and the pedagogical capacities of each group.

This intentional connection is based on a common purpose, working cooperatively to create community that reflects shared core values.

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Celebrating the Life of a Liberation Theologian

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On August 25, Ecclesial Base Communities (CEBES), family members, the Archdiocese of El Salvador and international visitors said their goodbyes to a well-known Liberation Theology priest at the Awakening Center in San Salvador.
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Father Pedro D’ Clercq, though born and raised in Belgium, had spent the past 47 years living and working with the Salvadoran CEBES as one of it’s founders as well as a prolific proponent of Liberation Theology throughout Central America. Although he died peacefully in his sleep after battling lung cancer, he’s already been imprinted in history next to such martyrs as Oscar Romero, Octavia Ortiz, Rutillo Grande and Segundo Montes.

According to the CEB’s he was born in Izegem, Belgium on the 10th of February, 1939.

In June of 1964, Padre Pedro was ordained as a priest by the Roman Catholic Church. He stayed in Belgium as a teacher, until he received the calling to come serve in the Americas, oddly enough, at a soccer game. He began his service in Panama and then came to El Salvador in 1968 where he formed base communities and cooperatives throughout San Salvador, Chalatenango and Usulután.

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In 1977 he was excommunicated from the Catholic Church, due to expressing his critical views on the Salvadoran reality from the pulpit. He moved back to Belgium following the decision and from there formed numerous CEBES, in fact, he had formed CEBES in Panama and Nicaragua as well.

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smallerIMG_8628 smallIMG_8661In 1992, he came back for good, settled in the Bajo Lempa region of Usulután and formed base communities, supported cooperatives, wrote publications, facilitated workshops, and even started a blood bank among many other projects. His writing, “Walking with Jesus and Monsignor Romero,” inspired the faith formation pre-school model of Community Segundo Montes, in Morazán. Padre Pedro, up until the end, tirelessly continued to travel throughout the country visiting and working for the people.

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He often said, “Who would I be without Romero? Who would I be without Rutillo? Who would I be without all the Martyrs? Who would I be without the ecclesial base communities?”

It was apparent, as hundreds came to pay homage to the beloved priest, that he had touched so many lives and hearts and will remain fixed as a man who genuinely loved the Salvadoran people.

(closed captioning in Youtube)