The SHARE Blog

Three teachers assassinated in UCRES region

April 23, 2010

Dear UCRES Sisters and SHARE supporters,

I regret to write you under these circumstances, but unfortunately, violence is all-too-often a part of daily life, reality in El Salvador.

On Monday evening, April 19th, two teachers and the director of El Ángel school in San Juan Opico, municipality neighborhing San Pablo Tacachico, were kidnapped, shot and killed. Classes were immediately suspended and marches took place in the area to protest ongoing violence and impunity. Indignation and fear are palpable.

Scroll below to read the UCRES press release along with a letter of condemnation, condolensce and solidarity drafted by SHARE. We would like to send this to UCRES and communities as soon as possible, ideally tomorrow. PLEASE let me know (tedde@share-elsalvador) as soon as you are able whether we can add your parish, school or committee signature to this letter, and circulate this information within your community. As we get more information on this case, we will be sure to pass it along.

Thank you for your accompaniment in the joyful and sorrowful times,

Tedde and the SHARE El Salvador team


El Salvador: comic rent-dodger against extortion

April 22, 2010

This grassroots movement against gang violence has recently sprung up in San Salvador.
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Crime-weary Salvadorans refer to street-gang shakedowns as rent. So anti-crime activists are using a comic rent-dodger to encourage them to reject extortion attempts. The Don Ramon Citizen’s Movement has printed posters of the lanky, weedy deadbeat from the long-running Mexican television comedy “El Chavo del Ocho.” Movement organizer Ernesto Lopez says Don Ramon “always had an excuse, and the courage” not to pay rent.The show that originally aired in the 1970s involves the endless attempts of Sr. Barriga (“Mr. Paunch”) to squeeze rent out of the wily Don Ramon. El Salvador’s Mara street gangs charge millions of dollars in protection money annually from motorists, bus drivers, store owners and others.

-posted by the AP

In their manifesto, the Don Ramon Citizen’s Movement stated:

“Ours is a call to civil courage and taking responsibility for our communities. It’s not about responding to violence with more violence. Its about Salvadorans taking back what is ours, that the gang members come back to being among our circle of friends, that respect goes back to being something that you earn with work and decency, not threats and violence, that “the barrio (neighborhood)” goes back to being a place of coexistence and joy, not a territory being disputed by gangs.

Our call is to overcome fear. We can no longer permit fear to paralize us. We have to raise our voice and show that we, the decent people, are stronger. The face of Don Ramon spread through the city so quickly because it is a symbol that the majority of us are tired of staying quiet.

Don Ramon is not just a face that we have adapted to express that were are tired of this, and that as individuals we are willing to take responsibility for our families, for our communities, for our El Salvador. There is no political party, church or ministry behind this campaign. We are all Don Ramon.”

A reflection on accompaniment

April 13, 2010

This piece was written by SHARE Grassroots and Tours Coordinator Danielle Mackey and it was published on her blog and in the Volunteer Missionary Movement’s publication Bridges. It does a wonderful job of talking about the type accompaniment that we work for here at SHARE.

On Saturday at midnight I stood ankle-deep in tawny sand, observing the waves. The tide of the Pacific is magical at that hour. Its foamy edges strain to reach higher, starving for the beach. In its hunger it breaks down the oldest, most durable bits of earth— pummeling rocks into slivers of sand— simultaneously undoing and recreating the stuff of life. It’s funny how watching the ocean in its most eternal, basic function can be mystical.

Read More »

Romero and Holy Week on NCR

April 6, 2010

During our Romero Delegation in March, we were joined by Pat Marrin, a reporter for the National Catholic Reporter. Pat chronicles his visit to El Salvador for the Romero Anniversary throughout Holy Week, in six different blog entries. Click on the below link to access the first entry and scroll down for the following posts.

Thanks for sharing with us Pat!

UN Expert on Violence Against Women Reports on Visit to El Salvador

April 5, 2010

22 March 2010


In conclusion of her three day follow-up visit to El Salvador, last visited by the mandate in 2004*, the Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on Violence against Women, its causes and consequences, delivered the following statement:

“At the outset, I would like to express my deep appreciation for the full cooperation extended to me by the Government of El Salvador. I am grateful to all my interlocutors, including State officials, representatives of civil society, representatives of United Nations agencies and international organizations. I am also particularly grateful to the victims and families of victims of violence that shared their personal experiences with me.

The objective of this visit, which comes six years after the visit conducted by this mandate in 2004, was to review progress made on the recommendations provided by my predecessor, assessing the current situation of violence against women and the State response to such violence. Read More »

Anticipation high ahead of Romero anniversary

March 4, 2010

This article was written by Pat Marrin in the National Catholic Reporter about the upcoming Romero celebrations. Pat will be joining us in El Salvador for Romero Week.

Published statements from both the church and the government in El Salvador are raising hopes that the 30th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero may occasion an official announcement of his beatification.

San Salvador Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas told a press conference Feb. 7 that the bishops of El Salvador had written to Rome to ask that Romero be canonized “as soon as possible.” Escobar cautioned that he had received no official word from the Vatican, but said the bishops would like to be able to give everyone the good news that Romero was declared “Blessed” on the anniversary day. Romero was assassinated while saying Mass on March 24, 1980. Read More »

Working to Alleviate AND Prevent Natural Disasters

February 18, 2010

Published on our SHARE e-newsletter, February 18, 2010. To subscribe to our e-newsletter, email Laura at

A phrase that can be heard here in El Salvador is that there are “no natural disasters,” rather there are natural phenomenon, but that disasters are a result of human error. An example of this is when in places like El Salvador, heavy rains hit, and it is the poorest who lose everything due their poorly constructed homes that are built in the riskiest places. We saw this in Haiti when a 7.0 earthquake killed over 200,000 people, while the 6.9 earthquake in San Francisco in 1989 killed 63 people. Planning for disasters and prevention can make high-risk areas less vulnerable. However, like Haiti, El Salvador is incredible vulnerable to natural disasters. People live in constant fear of another hurricane like Mitch, Stan or Ida, or another earthquake, like the ones that hit in 2001.

On November 7th, 2009, disaster struck again when torrential rains from Hurricane Ida swept over El Salvador, destroying homes and crops in some of the most marginalized communities. SHARE responded as quickly as we could and with the support of individuals and groups in the United States, we were able to provide relief to communities in the departments of San Salvador, La Paz, San Vicente and La Libertad. Read More »

Join the Romero Vive Campaign

February 16, 2010

From our friends at the Salvadoran American National Network (SANN)


The Salvadoran American National Network (SANN), in collaboration with other organizations to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of Martyrdom Monsignor Romero, wants to request you to unite for the “Romero Vive” campaign. To participate, you will need to sign a letter requesting the President of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, to name our airport, International Airport of Mons. Oscar Arnulfo Romero. (sign the letter at ) Read More »

Letter to our base from SHARE Director Jose Artiga

February 11, 2010

Queridas amigas y amigos de SHARE,

Warm greetings from Washington DC where we are under several feet of snow.

I am writing to you today to elaborate and update on a few challenges we as a SHARE community encountered in the final months of 2009. First, Hurricane Ida left many victims and much destruction. However, thanks to the international community, reconstruction is underway. We want to say “Gracias” to each of our sister parishes, communities, schools, universities, foundations, religious orders and individual supporters for your generous response to this crisis.

SHARE was also blessed by the support of the Salvadoran community in the US, in particular the coalitions that raised and channeled their support through SHARE from Houston, TX and San Francisco, CA.

SHARE has been presente with the communities affected by Hurricane Ida since day one. Through your kind support, we have delivered over $42,000 in emergency aid, and are committed to assisting in any ways that we can throughout all phases of reconstruction. I want to thank the entire SHARE staff for the tremendous effort and dedication on this emergency.

Read More »

Remembering El Salvador for Martin Luther King Day, Part 1

January 22, 2010

This past summer, students from Eastern Michigan University travelled to El Salvador on a delegation with SHARE. On Monday, Martin Luther King Day, they gave presentations on their trip to El Salvador in connecting the experience to the human rights that Dr. King advocated for. This is the first part of the talk.

Introduction, presented by Katie

Universal social justice is the right of everyone in society to have a fair share, based on the principle that all people are created equal. Unfortunately, this is a concept that is often times forgotten. We get caught up in school, with work, with our families. It’s easy to forget sometimes that even though so much progress has been made, there is an entire world out there fighting for their right to justice and equality. As Martin Luther King said, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. Read More »

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