The SHARE Blog

Youth Assembly in Chalatenango

October 15, 2010

This article was written by Grassroots Delegations Leader Bethany about her visit to the CCR youth assembly in September.
Since the end of the summer delegation season, I have continued to deepen my understanding of and appreciation for SHARE’s work. I have had several opportunities to visit some of SHARE’s counterparts, and see their processes of organizing. I particularly enjoyed attending a regional youth assembly in Arcatao, Chalatenango, organized by the CCR, one of CRIPDES’ regional offices. Over 200 youth ages fifteen to thirty filled the community center with clapping, laughter, and encouragement. Well designed to keep the youth engaged, the assembly included brief talks on the current national reality and the history of organizing in Chalatenango, a skit about migration presented by a local youth theatre group, an academic competition, and dinámicas throughout. Read More »

UCRES Scholarship Students

October 11, 2010

Meet José Neftaly Valencia, participant in the SHARE-UCRES High School Scholarship and Integral Youth Development Program in Northern San Salvador. Thanks to SHARE’s accompaniment and the support of our US Grassroots base, Neftaly is able to continue his studies and work for community development.

Neftaly is from the community La Joya, a community repopulated by people who fled their homes during the brutal civil war in El Salvador. He lives with both his parents and two sisters in this small, rural community. Neftaly is currently in his third year of technical high school, studying accounting at the National Institute of El Paisnal, the final resting place of Father Rutilio Grande. He is a very dynamic young man that makes one feel immediately at ease and in confianza. Neftaly is the President of the youth committee and in addition to his studies and work as a youth leader, he loves soccer.

Read More »

Effects of Hurricane Matthew in Tecoluca

October 4, 2010

Due to rains from Hurricane Matthew and a following low pressure system, brining chilly weather, grey skies and almost non-stop storms for over a week, many communities in El Salvador have flooded once again.  The squatters community of Bendición de Díos in Tecoluca was overcome by water in the middle of the night and forced to seek shelter in a nearby public school.  Over 100 people have stayed in this temporary shelter for five days, walking to the river that destroyed their homes to wash themselves and their clothes as the school has no running water, sleeping on four-inch thick mattresses on the schoolroom floor, and counting on the organization of CRIPDES San Vicente for food. Bendición de Díos is located between two small rivers and has been declared a non-inhabitable area.  Working with different government institutions, CRIPDES has found a place for these 30 families to resettle once the waters subside. Read More »

On Beginning at SHARE

October 1, 2010

This reflection was written by Bethany Loberg, our new Grassroots Sistering Coordinator.  Bethany writes about her first few months at SHARE with our summer delegations.

I arrived in El Salvador in the midst of Tropical Storm Agatha and began at SHARE the last day of May. My new room and various other parts of Casa Clara had flooded, and visits out to the various regions the SHARE Grassroots program partners with hung in the air due to intense flooding. My house mates and I knew the flooding at our house was only a minor nuisance compared to communities settled on flood planes and families living in houses cobbled together from sheets of tin and cardboard boxes.
In spite of being greeted by torrential downpours and the resulting national emergency, I felt excited to begin at SHARE, as I saw coming SHARE as a continuation of a path that has called me for much of my life. Social justice and human rights have caught my attention for as long as I can remember. I became more and more drawn to U.S. Foreign policy towards Latin America in particular from eighth grade on, through my participation in the School of the Americas protest in Ft. Benning Georgia, and the local SOA Watch group.  Read More »

Hurricane Matthew Causes Heavy Rains; El Salvador Continues on Orange Alert

September 27, 2010

El Salvador continues on Yellow Alert, with the Coastal and Central Mountain zones on Orange Alert, due to heavy rains provoked by Hurricane Matthew. Rains began on Friday as Hurricane Matthew developed off the Atlantic Nicaraguan Coast and continued heavily throughout the weekend, causing torrential downpours in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. As Matthew becomes a Tropical Depression along the Southern Mexican Coast, the National Service of Territorial Studies (SNET) projects that heavy rains will continue through Tuesday and encourages Civil Protection committees to remain on alert.
This storm comes after five months of continuous heavy rains. Soil is already saturated and flooding, mudslides, and evacuations have been common in this rainy season. Throughout the country, farmers have lost their season’s crops and, in areas like the Lower Lempa River basin, communities have decided to wait until the end of the rainy season to plant. Because of heavy rains in Honduras and Guatemala, which feed into the Lempa River and its tributaries, flood risk remains high for communities along all major rivers.

According to Civil Protection, there have been 47 landslides over the weekend, causing damages to highways and bridges; one death has been reported in El Salvador; and some 900 people are currently in shelters.  According to the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), the municipality of Tecoluca, where SHARE counterpart CRIPDES San Vicente is located, is at high risk for flooding, and various municipalities in Chalatenango are at moderate risk, along with some thirty other zones of the country. As continued rains fall, risk for flooding and landslides increase. Read More »

Spotlighting Sisters: Cretin-Derham Hall, Teaching and Living for Justice

September 24, 2010

Thank you to SHARE promoter, Phelia Lorenzen, for writing this Spotlighting Sister article for us. Thanks to the teachers and students at CDH for their support in writing it!

Affirmation of an old adage: How one step towards a quest leads to a lifelong journey.

CDH kids at the river in San Vicente

A few years ago, a few students from Cretin-Derham Hall (CDH hereafter), a Catholic high school in St. Paul, Minnesota, were invited to attend a delegation to El Salvador with Brother Dennis Beach of St. John’s Abbey. CDH is committed to the Catholic social teaching of justice, and students were curious about Brother Dennis’ passion for this tiny Latin American country. One step. Today, CDH is committed to accompanying the people of El Salvador. Each summer, one or two delegations of students travel to the department of San Vicente. Through SHARE and CRIPDES San Vicente, they stay in the community, play with the kids, share stories with young people, visit historic sites, stand in the chapel where Archbishop Romero was murdered, walk the blood-soaked grounds of El Mozote, and learn about advocacy actions they can take at home. The journey begins. These young adults are transformed and will take social justice to the highest level wherever their lives take them. A lifelong journey. Read More »

“We welcome justice!” Tribunal Convicts Material Perpetrators of Marcelo Rivera’s Assassination

September 22, 2010

The SHARE Foundation applauds this important step forward in seeking justice for all victims, past and present, of violent political and economic repression. We thank and congratulate the tireless efforts of the National Working Group against Metallic Mining, the communities and organizations of Cabañas, and the efforts of the international solidarity community in supporting this ongoing struggle.

“We welcome justice!”Tribunal Convicts Material Perpetrators of Marcelo Rivera’s Assassinationby the Communications Team of the National Roundtable against Metallic MiningThe Specialized Sentencing Court “B” convicted the material assassins of Gustavo Marcelo Rivera Moreno, after concluding a two-day public hearing.  After hearing some twenty testimonies and declarations from an accomplice under plea bargain, whose statements were corroborated by official evidence, the tribunal sentenced the perpetrators to 40 years in prison. Read More »

Residential Voting in El Salvador

September 17, 2010

Campesino casting his vote

What if you had to ride various busses three hours to vote? Would you still vote? This is the reality for the people who live in the communities on the Tamarindo Beach in La Union, El Salvador. On voting day, the nearest poll where they can vote is in the town of Conchagua, which is a three hour bus ride from where they live.
Or take for example the residents of the Ciudad Corinto, a middle class residential neighborhood of mostly confiminiums in Mejicanos. The nearest voting center for those residents would be in the Montreal neighborhood, where intense gang violence has increased in recent months, as we saw with the burning of a bus with passengers aboard in June. Would you venture into one of the most dangerous neigborhoods in El Salvador to vote? Read More »

Support the Dream Act: Call your Senator!

September 16, 2010


Senator Reid will be moving the DREAM Act to a vote via an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill

What does this mean?

It means that the DREAM Act still needs 60 votes to pass. We still need 60 senators to say yes when it comes time for the bill to be attached to the defense bill.

What can you do to help?

We need calls right now. We need to flood offices with calls in support of the DREAM Act. Currently we are being beat by anti-immigrants 10 calls to 1. That means for every 1 call you make in support 10 people are calling against the DREAM Act. Read More »

Report on Mesoamerican Women’s Encounter

September 13, 2010

On Friday, September 10th, Laura, Tedde and Marina from the SHARE El Salvador office, attended an event hosted by a number of Salvadoran women’s organizations as they presented the report of the Mesoamerica and Caribbean Encounter with the UN Expert on Women’s Issues, which occured in March. (Read the UN Expert’s report on El Salvador). Representatives from various women’s organization were present, in addition to a representative from the UN, the Director of Integral Social Development in the Salvadoran Government’s Foreign Relations Ministry, and a Representative from the Salvadoran National Women’s Institution, ISDEMU.      Silvia Juarez from SHARE’s Counterpart, ORMUSA, presented a summary of the themes that were discussed during the encounter. Those themes were:

  • Domestic and Partner Violence
  • Access to Justice
  • Extreme Violence– Feminicide/Femicide
  • Other forms of violence in the Caribbean and Mesoamerica
  • Violence against Women in the context of breakdown and weakening of democracy
  • Violation of sexuala and reproductive rights
  • Sexual Violence

    Silvia did a wonderful job of summarizes these seven themes and how they were presented by the various countries present at the Encounter.

Read More »

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