Archive for April, 2017

Delegation Spotlight: Ruby

April 20, 2017

Our blog series, Delegate Spotlight, feature past participants from SHARE’s major delegations. A delegate is someone who travels with a group (delegation) to El Salvador to learn about the history, politics, and people to better accompany the Salvadoran people. Interested in becoming a SHARE delegate? Check out our major delegation page for information on the upcoming Women Leaders Across Borders trip in May/June 2017!
 Why I decided to participate in a SHARE delegation: 
At my school, there are a few different trip offerings besides the trip to El Salvador. However, the delegation to El Salvador with SHARE has a very different itinerary, structure, and purpose than these other trips. I was vaguely aware of these differences, but really came to understand them at the trip information night that I attended in the fall, and then of course throughout our delegation. During this presentation, the teachers spoke to us about the ideas of solidarity and accompaniment, which I have come to understand in great depth. This was not to be a service trip or a relaxing vacation, but something completely different. The unique itinerary of this trip, and our unique roles as participants as listeners, learners and observers, is what really spoke to me. I knew right away that this was not a trip I could easily recreate with my family, as the connections that SHARE has to incredible NGOs, activists and communities on the ground in El Salvador were truly special.
The most memorable part of the trip: 
For me, the most memorable part of the trip, which I continue to think about daily even now (almost a month after I have returned home) is the time that we spent in Huisisilapa. I continue to think a lot about the kids and families that I met there, especially because I have been lucky enough to be able to be in touch with my host-sister, Jennifer, via Facebook. Whether it be singing songs with the young children at the preschool, watching music videos in the hammocks with teenage daughters in my homestay, or dancing with the kids from the elementary school, there are so many specific moments and interactions with the kids from Huisisilapa that I will not forget. There are also specific images that have stuck with me, many of them as simple as the streets, the home that I stayed in, and sport court (where we had dances), the field, the store, etc. The community members and hosts who spoke with us shared histories and stories that I will also hold with me for a long time.

¡Victoria! El Salvador prohíbe la Minería Metálica en su territorio.

April 5, 2017

El pasado 29 de marzo fue un día memorable ya que luego de muchos años de lucha la Asamblea Legislativa aprobó la ley que prohíbe la minería metálica. Ese acontecimiento sólo fue posible gracias a la incansable lucha de las comunidades y el movimiento ambientalista  quienes a pesar de la violencia e intimidación de las trasnacionales nunca perdieron la determinación por defender la vida del pequeño país centroamericano el cual es el primer país del mundo en declarar ilegal la minería metálica en su territorio.

Esta lucha histórica está vinculada directamente con la protección de los recursos hídricos, los cuales son los principales afectados por el proceso de extracción del oro,  debido a la utilización de diversos químicos en dicha producción y cuyos daños son visibles en varios países de Centroamérica. Debido a su pequeña extensión territorial, densidad poblacional y preocupantes niveles de degradación ambiental El Salvador no puede ni debe considerarse un país apto para la exploración y explotación  minera, por lo que las intenciones de las trasnacionales que buscaban extraer prinicipalmente oro atentaban directamente contra el derecho a la vida de la población salvadoreña.

El Salvador tuvo una larga batalla legal contra la empresa australiana-canadiense Oceana Gold (antes Pacific Rim) ante el Centro Internacional de Arbitrajes (CIADI) el cual finalmente falló a favor de El Salvador y le ordenó pagar a la empresa $8 millones de indemnización al Estado salvadoreño, sin embargo hasta el día de hoy la empresa no ha acatado dicho fallo.

Si bien es una victoria  no debe perderse de vista que aún debe seguirse luchando por la Ley del Agua, la Ley para la Soberanía y Seguridad Alimentaria, y una ley contra los agro tóxicos. La búsqueda por un mejor país y un mejor planeta continúa por lo que hay que tomar acción HOY.


Delegation Spotlight: Megan

April 4, 2017

Our blog series, Delegate Spotlight, feature past participants from SHARE’s major delegations. A delegate is someone who travels with a group (delegation) to El Salvador to learn about the history, politics, and people to better accompany the Salvadoran people. Interested in becoming a SHARE delegate? Check out our major delegation page for information on the upcoming Women Leaders Across Borders trip in May/June 2017!

Megan (middle) poses with Norma (left) and Sandra (right), Huisisilapa

What was my favorite part? My favorite part of this experience was my homestay in Huisisilapa! I met many people in Huisi that I already miss, and would love to see again the next time I visit. The community was welcoming and friendly, and extremely generous and selfless. Specifically, the second homestay was my favorite part, because we already had made some friends and were becoming closer with our homestay families when we saw them one last time before leaving. We played a second game of soccer, which was even more fun than the first, and we had a talent show and a dance, which helped us connect more with the kids in the community. I had an amazing time while I was in Huisi, and I did not even realize until our bus pulled away from Huisi for the final time how upset I was to leave the community that I had begun to love so tremendously.  

How was I challenged? I was challenged by a lot of the meetings that our delegation attended, because it is hard to hear stories about people suffering, and it is also hard to comprehend the fact that we live such privileged lives while there are innocent people that live in hardship. One of the most challenging meetings was at ARCOIRIS

Northwest delegation, Share El Salvador, UCRES-CRIPDES students, and sister communities participed in the 40th Anniversary of the Commemoration of Padre Rutilio Grande at El Paisnal

when we met with a few transgender women who shared their personal stories. My fellow delegates and I assumed that we were at this meeting to simply hear the stories, but it turns out that these women wanted our help, and we found ourselves feeling unable to do so. However, even though this was a difficult task, these women were able to challenge us into coming up with some ideas of how to help prevent violence towards transgender women in El Salvador. Each one of the meetings I attended was well worth the challenge because uncomfortable situations allow you to learn more than you expected.

To those thinking about joining one of SHARE’s delegations: I would recommend joining a SHARE delegation to anyone traveling to El Salvador! I believe that SHARE was the reason that my visit in El Salvador was so memorable. The trip coordinators that accompanied my school were incredible! I learned a lot about El Salvador from them, and they were very friendly to my classmates and I, and by the end of the two weeks, they had already begun to feel like family. They also translated every meeting that our delegation attended and made sure that we had plenty of safe food to eat and clean water to drink during our two week stay. SHARE provided us a safe and unforgettable experience that I will never forget.


Delegate Spotlight: Jamie


Our blog series, Delegate Spotlight, feature past participants from SHARE’s major delegations. A delegate is someone who travels with a group (delegation) to El Salvador to learn about the history, politics, and people to better accompany the Salvadoran people. Interested in becoming a SHARE delegate? Check out our major delegation page for information on the upcoming Women Leaders Across Borders trip in May/June 2017!

My name is Jamie and I am a student from Seattle, Washington, in the United States. I was a part of the Northwest School SHARE Delegation in March, 2017.

Why did I decide to participate? I initially decided to participate in the SHARE delegation because I saw it as a great opportunity to expand my limited world view and learn about people with who live with different realities than me.

What did I gain? From this experience I learned a lot about the history of El Salvador that I was unaware of, as well as about the culture and how people live in the country. I also gained a new sense of global citizenship.

What was my favorite part? The most memorable part of the trip for me was when our delegation met with some survivors of the Civil War at the Monument to Truth and Memory and they told us stories of how they were personally affected by the war.

My favorite part of the experience was getting to know our Delegation leader and many other wonderful Salvadorans we met.
How was I challenged? I was challenged to accept the reality of the atrocities committed during the war. At times it seemed as though the history we learned and the stories people told us from the war were impossible; how could people do such horrible things to each other? It was just challenging to comprehend.

To those thinking about joining one of SHARE’s delegations: Do not let fear stop you. The experience you will have will be worth any perceived danger reflected in the media.

How does your experience continue to inspire you in your work/life/passions today? After learning about this history and the lives of many Salvadorans, I am inspired by the passion with which people are fighting for human rights. I am motivated to do my best to have a positive impact on the world.


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