The SHARE Blog

Thank you Marina!

April 8, 2011

Thank you Marina for many years working with SHARE.

Marina Peña, SHARE’s El Salvador Field Office Director recently decided to leave SHARE in order to accept a position working as an advisor to the Salvadoran Ambassador in Nicaragua.  Marina’s dedication, enthusiasm, and expertise will be greatly missed at SHARE.

For over 11 years, we enjoyed Marina’s leadership in accompanying partner communities as they moved from war to reconstruction.  The success of the Mujeras Ganaderas, the cooperative of cattle women in the Bajo Lempa, is one example of Marina’s ability to encourage and empower a marginalized group of women. She guided through the process of forming their own women’s cooperative and walked with them until they secured their legal status. Today they are a thriving, successful, and respected women’s organization. Read More »

Top Ten 2010 Delegate Quotes

April 7, 2011

  • “Instead of just hearing about poverty and peoples’ struggles, we lived it and saw first hand in a way that will affect me forever. SHARE’s incorporation of advocacy issues was truly remarkable and inspiring to me. I plan on initiating events and fundraisers on campus to create awareness in the U.S. about issues in El Salvador.”
    -Eastern Michigan University
  • “I can now understand how big on an impact the policies of the USA have on the rest of the world. Even though the American people may not realize their power, they are responsible for their actions.”
    -Cretin Derham Hall Read More »

Women’s Rights in the Workplace

April 5, 2011

Salvadoran women working in a factory

On March 30th, the International Labor Organization presented their report on Legislation Regarding Women’s Work Rights in Central America and the Dominican Republic. The report revealed that the most common types of labor violations in the workplace for women are in regards to maternity and sexual harrasment.

International Labor Organization Representative, Maria Jose Chamorro, presented the report to the audience. Some interesting facts about El Salvador labor laws:

  • El Salvador ratified the International Agreement on Work Dicrimination in 1995, and the International Agreement on Equal Pay in 2000, while the rest of the Central American countries had ratified those agreements in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Read More »

Remembering María Julia: Defender of Human Rights in El Salvador

April 1, 2011

“Our struggle to exercise these rights here in El Salvador continues, we will keep searching for this truth and justice in El Salvador’s courts. I don’t know when, but one day truth and justice will flourish in our country for the victims who abandoned this utopia with their blood.”

– Dr. María Julia Hernández

Dr. María Julia Hernandez, long-time director of Tutela Legal, The Salvadoran Archdiocese’s human rights office, and defender of the victims of horrific human rights violations, died March 30th four years ago.

SHARE worked with María Julia, Tutela Legal, and the Archdiocese on many human rights initiatives over the years, including human rights campaigns during the war, coordination with the movement of refugees repopulating communities in the late 1980s, and working on the initial design for a memorial wall dedicated to the civilian victims of the war. Read More »

Congratulations Pro Busqueda: Government Publicy Recognizes Children Disappeared During the Armed Conflict

March 31, 2011

A seemingly endless line of children, youth, and the occasional adult gathered outside the Feria Internacional in San Salvador the morning of March 29th, 2011. Everyone trickled through the gates one by one and rushed toward a huge ampitheatre decorated with kites and crawling with people for the Day of the Children Disappeared During the Armed Conflict. While the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly first named March 29th the Day of the Children Disappeared During the Armed Conflict in 2007, this Tuesday marked the first time the Salvadoran government participated in the celebration, publicly acknowledging the many children who suffered forced disappearance and separation from their families during the armed conflict. Pro Busqueda coordinated this exciting historic commemorative event together with the Salvadoran Secretariat of Social Inclusion, lead by First Lady Vanda Pignato.

Read More »

In the Words of Romero…

March 24, 2011

On all of our delegations that travel to El Salvador, we take the time to visit the Divina Providencia, run by the Carmelite nuns, and also the place where Oscar Romero lived and died. In a recent visit to the small house where Romero lived, one of the sisters in talking about Romero’s homilies said: “People close to Monseñor used to say: “Be careful with what you say in your homilies!” And Monseñor would respond by saying that in preparing his homilies, he would write down everything that he was going to say, but as soon as he stood up there in front of all the people and the words starting coming out, it was different than what he had prepared. That to say that he felt that it was a power greater than him that was speaking.” Here are some of those prophetic words:
“We have never preached violence, except the violence of love, which left Christ nailed to a cross, the violcen that we must each do to ourselves to overcome our selfishness and such cruel inequalities among us. The violence we preach is not the violence of the sword, the violence of hatred. It is the violence of love, of brotherhood, the violence that wills to beat weapons into sickles for work.” Read More »

Commemorating Father Rutilio Grande

Saturday March 12th marked the 34th anniversary of Father Rutilio Grande‘s martyrdom. A priest from El Paisnal, Rutilio Grande spoke against the injustices at the hands of an oppressive government, and dedicated his life’s work to organizing the impoverished, marginalized rural farmers of El Salvador as they demanded respect for their rights. Members of the army shot him to death along with two other people, in 1977 on his way to give mass. Community members and social organizations continue to commemorate his life and death every year to hold up his example of commitment to the people and communities, and of speaking out for justice as a model for youth, men, women, and children to follow today, in the midst of continued inequality. Read More »

Perspectives on Obama’s Visit to El Salvador

For two days this week, El Salvador was in the world media spotlight when US President Obama visited. Various news outlets did a wonderful job highlighting a variety of important, and often controversial, issues regarding Obama’s visit and US-ES relations more generally. Here is a selection of those thought-provoking perspectives in their own words:

A Missed Opportunity at Romero’s Tomb
For Maryknoll Fr. Roy Bourgeois, the visit was at best a missed opportunity. His organization, SOA Watch, revealed that Romero’s killers were trained at the U.S. Army School of the Americas, now named the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC).
“I and many other human rights activists were hopeful,” he said, that Obama would acknowledge “that Romero and thousands of others were killed, tortured and disappeared by graduates of this school.”
“Obama didn’t even acknowledge, let alone apologize for, the U.S. role in El Salvador,” Bourgeois said.
Read more at:

US Funds for Security Initiatives: Human Rights and Sovereignty?
During his visit to El Salvador, President Obama announced $200 million to finance “ security and anti-narco trafficking in Central America at a joint press conference held on Tuesday, March 22nd with his Salvadoran homologue, President Funes. Read More »

Dear Mr President: Please Renegotiate CAFTA

March 23, 2011

Dear President Obama:

On your upcoming trip to Latin America, we ask that you state your support for renegotiation of the Central America Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) and for El Salvador’s request to have dismissed a pending CAFTA investor-state arbitration suit challenging El Salvador’s environmental and safety policies relating to metals mining concessions.

Pacific Rim Mining Corp. and Commerce Group Corp. CAFTA cases
As the unfortunate record of mining in Guatemala and Honduras has demonstrated, certain forms of metals mining can irreparably pollute fresh drinking water, contaminate water used for crop irrigation, and pose grave threats to fishing livelihoods, thus permanently endangering the health and well-being of generations. El Salvador, the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America, already grapples with severe shortages of clean water, as 90 percent of its surface water is contaminated. Read More »

Letters From El Salvador: Final day in Huisisilapa

The next day we awoke to the realization that we were about to
encounter an extremely enthusiastic and talented group of soccer players. A game was scheduled for 9:30 am on the cancha, or field, seemingly the hottest place in the entire
community. A team of Northwest Students (and a few guest players) and a
team of Huisisilapan community members were formed, and the game began,
with many excited spectators. Numerous people, from both sides, opted not to
play, and sat, talking and mingling, in the shade next to the field.
This was preferable, as each time a player would come off the field,
both the sunburn, and sweat soaked clothing was extremely apparent.
However, by some miracle, or by the kindness on behalf of the
Huisisilapan team, the Northwest School prevailed, winning by one goal. Read More »

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