The SHARE Blog

Remembering Anastasio Aquino, the revolutionary grandfather

July 25, 2011

Yesterday, July 24 marks 128 years since the death of Anastasio Aquino, the indigenous leader that led an insurrection of the Nonualco peoples against fuedal landowners in 1833.  Aquino injected rebellious genes into the blood of the Salvdoran people, who are still today fighting for their liberation.

The period in which Aquino lived (1)

Anastasio Aquino was born on April 16, 1792, in Santiago Nonualco, in the department of La Paz. Nonualcos was the name of the indigenous communities that had settlements between the Lempa and Jiboa rivers and between the Chinchontepec volcano and the Pacific Ocean.  According to some historians, Nonualco means “the place of beautiful speech.” Read More »

Delegate Reflection: Remembering Romero’s Legacy

July 19, 2011

This reflection was written by Kathy Werly, a member of the recently returned delegation from Good Shepherd Parish in Shawnee, Kansas, after they visited the Divina Providencia.

Reading and hearing about Archbishop Oscar Romero is one thing.  Standing where he stood and imagining his last minutes is quite another.  The Good Shepherd delegation’s visit to Divina Providencia gave us an opportunity to do just that, and it had a powerful impact on us all.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by Sister Marceline.  She guided us into the chapel and spoke to us as we sat in the pews.  She asked us to individually think of a word that we would use to describe Archbishop Romero.  After sharing our words, she described the day of his death and extended an invitation to each of us to stand at the altar.  Read More »

A Message from the Organized Women of Chalatenango Facing the Food Crisis

July 14, 2011

At a recent Forum on Food Justice sponsored by Oxfam, Sonía Alemán, representing hundreds of organized women in Chalatenango, read the following message about food security in Chalatenango.  The message was collectively written by twenty women leaders of SHARE counterpart the CCR.  SHARE is currently working with the CCR on a project called Women’s Empowerment through Food Security and Microfinance.

A translation of Sonía’s message:

As organized rural women, we recognize ourselves as protagonists of life in this country. We bring food to our families.

I, Sonia Alemán, rural woman and preserver of life, wish to share reflections that, with other rural women from Chalatenango, we have in relation to the serious food crisis we face.

Despite our own efforts and those of our families, dedicated to farming life, organized women believe that in our rural communities, we are unable to ensure healthy food for our families.

In our communities, we are able to produce at least corn and beans.  But we understand that a complete diet is more than that—we need food in both quantity and quality to nourish our bodies, so that our sons and daughters can grow healthy and strong.

Currently, women face many difficulties to provide food for our homes.

In the first place, we do not have secure access to land to grow.  In addition, it is impoverished land, sick and polluted.  This effects especially women, as the majority of fertile land owners are right, and it is almost always men that enjoy the right to property, although it is us women who work the land.

Read More »

In El Salvador, Cooperatives are the Seed for a New Model of Rural Development

July 13, 2011

The following is a press release by SHARE counterpart CONFRAS, the Confederation of Federations of the Salvadoran Agrarian Reform.  It is titled: During the International Month of Cooperativism: In El Salvador, Cooperatives are the Seed of a New Model of Development. SHARE is currently working with CONFRAS to promote organization in the eastern part of El Salvador in order to motivate cooperatives to participate in national advocacy efforts for sustainable agricultural policies.


Press Release:

Cooperativism begins alongside, and as an alternative to, the exploitative capitalist system.  In the month of July, cooperatives around the world celebrate 167 years of life. We remember that in 1844, one of the first cooperative business was founded in Rochdale, England.  Today, a sixth of the world population, or some one billion people, are organized in cooperatives. This is why the United Nations has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives.   Read More »

SHARE hiring in Berkeley

July 12, 2011

As SHARE celebrates thirty years of solidarity with the people of El Salvador, we are expanding our mission.  The Outreach Coordinator will be working with the Salvadoran community in the United States in an effort to strengthen developing relationships and partnerships with this community.  The Outreach Coordinator will work closely with the Executive Director in the US and the Director of SHARE’s field office in El Salvador to advance SHARE’s mission to “strengthen solidarity with and among the Salvadoran people in El Salvador and the United States in the struggle for economic sustainability, justice, and human and civil rights.” This is an exciting position that will help to do research, become a clearinghouse for information important to this community, support advocacy efforts, and strengthen capacity building of the Salvadoran community. As SHARE develops this new program area, the Outreach Coordinator will be instrumental in defining our goals and strategies. This position is based in our Berkeley, CA office.

Read the complete job listing

Body of Young Anti-Mining Activist Exhumed from Common Grave

July 11, 2011

The body of murdered fourth-year university student and active member of the environmental movement in the area of Ilobasco, Cabanas, Juan Francisco Duran Ayala, has finally been returned to his family in San Salvador. On June 24, 2011, the family gathered together with members of civil society and representatives from government agencies to exhume his body from a common grave in the Bermeja Cemetery, where he had been buried by the National Civilian Police. Juan Francisco, who lived in Ilobasco, left his home at 9 a.m. on June 3 to attend his classes in San Salvador and never arrived. His body was found on the same day by the police, next to a basketball court in the community of Amatepec in metropolitan San Salvador, with two gunshot wounds to the head.

Local environmental activists call on the National Civilian Police and the Attorney General of the Republic to conduct exhaustive investigations of the string of violent crimes in the department of Cabanas. They cite corruption and illicit trades within three local mayoral offices—facts they claim to be well-known to the local population, and which they list in today’s press release—as well as ties between the aforementioned authorities and the mining company Pacific Rim, as possible motives for the violence. As Francisco Pineda, President of the CAC and recent recipient of the internationally recognized Goldman Environmental Prize, asserts, “We can make a good guess about who are the intellectual authors of this crime given our lived experiences here, but that’s not our responsibility. The attorney general and the police have the obligation to investigate and determine the guilty parties.”

Continue reading this article, written by former SHARE team member Danielle Mackey, here!

President Funes condemns murder of anti-mining activist

July 7, 2011

In a press release issues June 28, President Mauricio Funes condemned the recent murder of anti-mining activist Juan Francisco Durán Ayala and reaffirmed his opposition to mining in El Salvador. The press release read as follows:

The President of the Republic, Mauricio Funes, energetically condemned today the murder of Juan Francisco Durán Ayala, a volunteer with the EnvironmentalCommittee of Cabañas, which was perpetrated by unknown subjects last July third.

“As President of the Republic I lament any murder that happens in the country,regardless of motives, of course I feel the pain of the family and the environmentalmovement in loss of these four leading environmental defenders” expressed President Funes upon condemning the murder of Durán Ayala and the three other environmentalists which have occurred in recent years in the department of Cabañas. Read More »

Video: Environmental Justice and Climate Change Work with REDES

June 29, 2011

Help 20 Women Get Microloans by Joining Us on

June 24, 2011

Help 20 women from the Mujeres Ganaderas Cooperative improve their food security and financial stability with a microloan to grow corn. Helping is simple. Support SHARE’s project on by sharing it with your friends and/or making a donation! Watch this video to learn more about this amazing group of women!

Tiny loans lead to big changes for Yanira

June 20, 2011

Yanira Azuceno Montano

The rising cost of food and the increasingly volatile weather conditions are destabilizing the already precarious situation of many women throughout rural El Salvador. Yanira Azuceno Montano is an example of this. Yanira has two children, ages 7 and 10, and her husband works as a day laborer harvesting sugar cane. Last year their community in the Lower Lempa was drenched with so much rain that Yanira and many other families were unable to plant their normal crops of corn and beans. Corn and beans are a food staple for most Salvadoran families, so not being able to plant is a huge set back.

Despite these challenges, Yanira continues to thrive due to her involvement with the Mujeres Ganaderas (or the Women’s Cattle Cooperative in English). Yanira has been a participating member of Mujeres Ganaderas since she was 17. She is now 29 and has two children, ages 7 and 10. Her husband works as a day laborer, harvesting sugar cane. This past year the rainy season drenched the communities of the lower region of the Lempa River with too much water to plant their normal crops of corn and beans, making other sources of income more vital than ever.

When Yanira first joined the Mujeres Ganaderas, El Salvador still used colones. She initially received a loan of 1,000 colones (roughly US$155). This was enough to buy one or two cows to start out and little by little move forward. Read More »

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