Letter From El Salvador: Day Two- Sihua Batucada
In the afternoon of the 26th, Northwest students and teachers met with an empowered group of young women receives trainings in sexual and reproductive health from the Institute of the Woman, IMU. These young women have also formed their own drum band, the Sihua Batucada. SHARE supports these women with partial high school scholarships.
After a full morning of exchange, we continued to Suchitoto,where we shared a particularly good lunch with a group of youngSalvadoran women who, not only go from town to town talking about sexualand reproductive rights in the face of criticism, but also have theirown drum and dance group called Sihua Batucada. We got to know a littlebit about them through intermingling between chewing at the lunch table,but even more so when they presented their cause through a presentation.This was a particularly interesting meeting, primarily because ElSalvador is a notoriously religious country; the country’s name means“The Savior”, or Jesus Christ.
In such a strong presence of religion,talking about sexual and reproductive rights, as well as sexuality, canbe considered “taboo”. Abortion is illegal here, and re-emphasized assuch many times in the national constitution. The women talked aboutthis challenge, and how they have been criticized on numerous occasions.At one point, the criticism and lies being spread about them were sostrong that they thought the group would have to stop meeting.Fortunately, they overcame the negative attention, and now pride in informing women (and men) all over about their sexual rights, pregnancy prevention, sexuality, and the issue of violence toward women. At one point, a member of our group brought up the question ofhomosexuality: Is it illegal? If not, is the gay lesbian population asmarginalized as it is in the US? Read More »