The SHARE Blog

From Floods to Droughts: Climate Change Continues.

September 7, 2012

This summer has demonstrated to be one the driest in the history of El Salvador, what with an average of 45 days with no rain. The regions of La Union, Usulutan, Morazan, and San Miguel are especially devastated as they have lost more than one million crates of corn.  The crops produced in these four regions account for 17% of the basic grains produced in El Salvador.

Last fall floods destroyed crops through out El Salvador, this year a drought threatens to do the same.

The possibilities for rain are present, according to the ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN). The country will be under the influence of El Niño and the affected regions can expect irregular rain showers  in the coming months of September and October.

For now the Salvadoran government is distributing  “agricultural packages” composed of corn seeds and extensive fertilizer. President Funes has announced that the situation is not dire as the rest of the national production of basic grains  remain on track and food prices are not expected to increase as a result of this drought.

Even so we hope that the rains coming to El Salvador are sufficient to revitalize agriculture in these affected regions. This is yet another reminder that we cannot survive without water. Read more about this situation here

“We can Live Without Gold, but We Cannot Live Without Water”

August 31, 2012

Earlier this summer the Executive Branch of the Salvadoran government released a Mining Suspension Bill which would temporarily suspend all mining activity in El Salvador. Although this is an active step towards environmental justice in the country, environmentalists argue that this bill does not permanently stop mining exploitation. President Funes has not granted any mining permits since 2009 but the withstanding years have not allowed the affected regions like San Sebastian and Cabanas to heal. It was in the same year that two of these companies, Pacific Rim and Commerce Group, sued the Salvadoran government for denying their gold mining permit. The contamination of the Salvadoran waterways has immensely diminished the quality of life for the people in many small towns, to the point where even the act of washing one’s hands is treacherous.

 Environmental advocates like The National Roundtable Against Mining  and the Water Forum continue to express their disapproval of the bill presented by the executive branch and support a bill called the “Special Law for the Suspension of Administrative Procedures Related to Metallic Mining”.  As the struggle to protect the rich soils and hundreds of flowing rivers in the country, international advocates from the New Economy Working Group recently visited El Salvador and provided a captivating recollection of their sights and experience while witnessing the destruction left behind by metallic mining activities. To read the full story click here.

Political Crisis in El Salvador Ends with the Election of Padilla

August 21, 2012

After various secluded meetings, political parties in El Salvador have finally reached an agreement, which elected José Salomón Padilla as the new President of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Chamber. Along with this jurisdiction the agreement also states that the magistrates whom were elected to the Chamber in 2009 are to fulfill their terms.  

To view more information about the constitutional ruling check out Tim’s El Salvador Blog

And to read  even more information check out the recent coverage provided by ElFaro

SHARE Invites You to Join Us on a Delegation

August 14, 2012

Join VMM-USA for a chance to meet two current missioners

and SHARE-El Salvador staff:  Bethany Loberg and Katy Strader

October 28-Novermber 4, 2012!

Cost: $750 per person

Accommodations, transportation, interpreters, and guide included

(not including airfare to San Salvador)

Down paymet of $200 due by August 31st

Contact VMM-USA office (414) 423-8660 to reserve your seat

For more information on becoming part of the delegation click here.



San Vicente Youth Scholarship Recipients Express their Gratitude

August 10, 2012

Through SHARE’s Leadership Development and Scholarship Program 25 high school students from the San Vicente region are continuing their education. Youth leaders receive financial support to cover the costs of transportation, school fees, and materials as well as leadership training. Students organize the youth in their communities and facilitate literacy circles, informal spaces for people to learn basic reading and writing skills, in their home communities. 

Scholarship recipients and their families from San Vicente


Students from San Vicente reflect on their lives as recipients of the scholarship and express the effect this has had on their lives, to catch their testimonials click here.

Communities Creating Justice: Fredy Gomez and San Francisco Angulo

August 3, 2012

While the El Mozote Massacre, Romero’s Assassination, and the Massacre of the Jesuits receive the most attention, tens of thousands of people were massacred, assassinated, and disappeared across El Salvador during the 1980s. Hundreds of communities have worked long and hard to uncover and preserve the truth of their histories.

One of these stories is that of Fredy Gomez, who was a member of the CRIPDES San Vicente team and the community of San Francisco Angulo, he was also a survivor of one of the many massacres happening during the 1980’s. He dedicated himself to recording the history of his community. This February, Fredy was murdered, many believe because of his activism. His commitment to uncovering the truth and seeking justice brought the massacres in San Francisco de Angulo to the national attention. The legacy of his work continues as we remember these victims.

2010: Fredy holds photos of his mother and brother during exhumations in Lomas de Angulo

During the 1980s, the national guard and other security forces carried out three different massacres in the area of San Francisco de Angulo. During the first massacre, on July 25th, 1981, the national guard and death squads killed forty-five women who had been preparing the day’s tortillas, and an unknown number of children. In October of the same year, the military arrived in neighboring Lomas de Angulo, where many people had taken refuge, rounded up the inhabitants and took them down to the river to kill them. Only two children survived. Several of Fredy’s siblings and his mother all died. On June 19th, 1982 the military swept through the region, killing all the community members and animals they came across, as part of the scorched earth campaign. While many fled, an estimated six hundred people lost their lives. Following these massacres, the community remained uninhabited until 1992, as community members, refugees, ex-combatants, and displaced Salvadorans began to return. Read More »

Supporting Salvadorian Youth Development through Education and Leadership Training

July 25, 2012

Since 1991, The Union of Rural Communities of Northern San Salvador and La Libertad (UCRES), has been one of SHARE’s closest grassroots partners. In our aim to continue to advocate for respect for civil and political rights and to formulate development programs, we have currently established a project to enhance youth development. Youth that participate in this project receive formal education and experience in community organizing and leadership. 25 high school youth from UCRES have been awarded scholarships which enable them to acquire a high school diploma and even allow them to pursue a professional career at a university.

As we learn of their great progress we know that the experiences provided to the youth will benefit them in the long run, as well as their communities.

Organizing in UCRES: Scholarship Students off and running!

The school year is in full swing in El Salvador. SHARE Scholarship students are busy with classes, homework, and projects in their communities. With the support of SHARE Grassroots Partners 25 scholarship students in the UCRES region have access to the uniforms, materials, and transportation they need to continue their studies.

Each month scholarship students attend assemblies where all of the scholarship students from the region gather to enjoy each others company, learn about the national reality, and participate in leadership development workshops.

This month, the assembly started out with a dynamica to break the ice and get the conversations flowing between the students. This was also a great way to practice leading similar activities in their communities and speaking in front of a large group.

Dynamicas at UCRES

The president of UCRES, Alexander Torres, announced that UCRES will be partnering with the Ministry of Education of El Salvador this year to lead literacy circles. The Ministry of Education will provide materials and trainings to scholarship students to prepare them to lead literacy circles for 4-5 people in their community. Due to the civil war and poverty many people in rural El Salvador did not have an opportunity to attend school. This is an exciting partnership as the Salvadoran Government is taking steps to increase literacy in rural communities.

Students were also excited to talk about a recent visit from students at Eastern Michigan University in early May. Some of the Scholarship students hosted students from Michigan in their communities and enjoyed sharing stories from their time together.



St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Solidarity with the Women of El Salvador

July 19, 2012

This past week ten women and four men from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish inWisconsinarrived inEl Salvadorhoping to make an empowering connection with the women ofEl Salvador.  St. Elizabeth Ann Seton has a sistering relationship with UCRES and the community of Rutilio Grande, which are both partners with SHARE. They were interested in ways to share the gifts of members of their parish in a way that would be consistent with a relationship of accompaniment and solidarity.

While some of the women from St. Elizabeth have visited the country in the past, many were first time visitors and were very excited to learn about the women ofEl Salvador. The following is a recollection of their first day inEl Salvador. Check back in a few days for a post on one of the women´s wellness day workshops.

“Never Forget 1974-1991” remembering an important part of Salvadorian history

A delegation from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish arrived in San Salvador on July 9, 2012.  The women from this parish have been working with  women in El Salvador for over a year to prepare a workshop on Women’s Wellness that they will offer in two different communities in El Salvador during their stay.   The group includes a mix of first time visitors and people who have visited El Salvador over the past few years.

During their first day in San Salvador the group participated in an orientation with SHARE staff and shared their thoughts about the purpose of their visit and what each of them hoped to gain and contribute during their stay. A few of their responses: Read More »

Action Alert: U.S. Senators Threaten to Cut Aid to El Salvador

July 18, 2012

Call on the U.S. State Department today and ask them to commit to neutrality.

The following press release is from CISPES:

On Tuesday July 17, Senators Rober Menedez (D-NJ) and Maro Rubio (R-FL) released a press statement calling for the Obama administration to threaten the Salvadoran government with the suspension of aid money and advisors if they do not resolve the “constitutional crisis”.   The so called constitutional crisis stems from a decision by the Constitutional Court of El Salvador to invalidate the 2006 and 2012 election of magistrates to the Supreme Court.  In an unusual show of unity parties from both the left and the right have rejected the ruling of the Constitutional Court in the Legislative Assembly.  Notably absent from this group is the right-wing ARENA party who stands to benefit from the ruling because they would be able to elect two thirds of the court.  Read more background on the dispute here.

In addition to encouraging the Obama administration to threaten the withdrawal of aid to El Salvador the Senators also demand that Obama deny visas for anyone “participating in the existing unconstitutional order”.  These demands are putting even more pressure on what is already a very tense situation which many have described as a right-wing attempt to destabilize the government.  The Salvadoran people and government should be allowed to resolve this dispute without interference by the United States.  

The Senators actions may forecast the types of threats that will be made in the lead up to the presidential elections of 2014.  Therefore it is urgent that we call on the State Dept commit to neutrality now and throughout the upcoming electoral period.

Join us in Calling on the U.S. State Department to committ to neutrality

Contact the State Department TODAY

1. Call Melanie Bower at the El Salvador Desk. 202-647-4161

Sample Phone script: I am calling because I am deeply concerned that members of the Senate have called on the State Department to threaten to cut aid to El Salvador because of the current conflict between the Legislative Assembly and the Supreme Court. Not only did these Senators misrepresent the facts of the situation, it is highly unacceptable for the United State government to use international aid as a threat to interfere in El Salvador’s internal and sovereign affairs. Will Secretary Jacobson commit to a position of US neutrality and noninterference?

2. Email Roberta Jacobson Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. 

3. Leave comments on articles discussing this issue. 

Leave a comment on articles in The Washington PostThe Hill, and Wall Street Journal and speak out against U.S. intervention.

Honoring Women Religious

July 13, 2012

SHARE El Salvador and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) invite you to join us in a Delegation

Honoring Women Religious

Celebrating the Legacy of Dorothy, Maura, Ita & Jean In El Salvador and the World



Delegation Cost: $950 plus airfare

(scholarships & group discounts available)

            * Walk the route of the martyrs

           * Honor Women Religious

           * Visit Women’s Projects

                                                                                    * Participate in a forum on Women’s Issues

 For more information: visit  or call 510-848-8487

Down load a copy of this flyer here

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