The SHARE Blog

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 »

Remembering El Salvador for Martin Luther King Day, Part 2

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 second part of the talk.

Women’s Issues, presented by Jillian:

El Salvador has always been a sexist society. Woman were finally given the right to vote in 1950 but even today it is very difficult for women to attain high positions in society, especially in politics and government; only until the last election was a woman allowed to run for Vice President. The issues of sexism in El Salvador were escalated during the war and still remain quite high today. Women are subjected to beatings, rape, young pregnancy, and a lack of support from the government and other institutions.

It is very common for the work of a woman in El Salvador to be overlooked or claimed to be done by men. For example, in many local communities it is the women who work to get electricity, running water, and schools but when those goals are achieved men are given the recognition rather than the women. Women are responsible for maintaining the home and taking care of the children in El Salvador, on top of this many women work long hours in the factories. Many men in El Salvador do not appreciate or understand women or the amount of work they do in the home and in the community. It is common for women to be beaten by their husbands to the point of needing medical attention, because of this policies have been created that make it the doctors responsibility to report such cases, however, with the situation of the health care system it is difficult for proper attention to be given to situations of battery. Read More »

In Solidarity with the people of Haiti

January 18, 2010

SHARE encourages you to support the relief effort in Haiti after the disastrous earthquake last week.

Stand With Haiti

Funes asks for forgiveness

This past Saturday, January 16th, El Salvador celebrated the 18th anniversary of the signing of the peace accords that ended the Civil War. The Peace Accords were signed in 1992 in Mexico City and were negotiated by the Salvadoran government at that time, the FMLN and members of Salvadoran political parties. The Peace Accords, demobilized the guerrilla troups and created a new police and armed forces that included members of both the former guerrilla troups and the former National Guard.

On Saturday, President Funes gave a speech in honor of the signing of the peace accords in which he ask forgiveness for the government’s role in the atrocities committed during the civil war. This is the first time that any Salvadoran President has done so. At the end of the ceremony, the President also signed an act that created a commission to find the missing children from the war. The ceremony was followed by a free public event at the National Fairgrounds that included music, dance and cultural acts.

Hurricane Relief from the World Food Program

This report was written by SHARE employee Carmelina Urquia, on the work that SHARE did with the World Food Program to request and administer food relief for families affected by Hurricane Ida.

The SHARE Foundation, together with the support of the World Lutheran Federation, was able to administer food donated by the World Food Program and The Secretary for Social Inclusion, for families affected by Hurricane Ida.

On January 7, in the CRIPDES Sur La Libertad offices, food packets were handed out to three of those communities affected by the heavy rains caused by IDA.

Those communities were: the community 13 de enero where sixty families where given food packets, Chilama, where twenty-three families were given food packets, and Estero Mar where forty-seven families were given food packets. In total, one-hundred and twenty families benefitted from the hand-outs. Read More »

A Vigil in Trinidad, Cabañas

January 14, 2010

This reflection was written by Tedde Simon, SHARE Grassroots Coordinator, about the vigil that took place in Trinidad, Cabañas, last Friday night.

On Friday, January 8th, the National Working Group Against Metalic Mining and communities affected by ongoing violence against anti-mining activists invited the Salvadoran people and the international community to a vigil in rememberance of Ramiro Rivera and Dora Alicia Santos. The vigil, denominated the Ecumenical Vigil for Justice and Dignity for the Victims and Population of Cantón Trinidad, Cabañas, took place in Trinidad, where both anti-mining activists were killed on the eve of the new year.

It is a long drive out to Trinidad, and I can’t help but think that sometimes, it seems that things simply don’t seem to change for the better here. The names and faces, the specific struggle people were involved that led to their death or torture, the specific sector of the rich and powerful responsible for represion, perhaps; but the overall structures of powerful repressing powerless, especially those powerless that organize to confront the structures of power that impoverish and opress, don’t change. Political and economic violence and exclusion went on long before I came to know El Salvador; long, in fact, before I was born. And here I am, years after the signing the Peace Accords, driving down a horrible, dusty, bumpy road in Read More »

Update on Cabañas

January 12, 2010

Dear Friends of El Salvador,

We wrote to you on December 26 to inform you of the death of Ramiro Rivera, anti-mining activist and vice-president of the Cabañas Environmental Committee (CAC). Rivera was murdered alongside his neighbor Felicita Echeverría in fron of his thirteen year old daughter. This was the second attack on Ramiro Rivera, the first one committed/carried out in August of this year when he was shot eight times by hitman Oscar Menjiver. Ramiro was from the small community Canton Trinidad, where the level of gold found in the ground is higher than in most other parts of Cabañas.

Tragically, on the very day we sent the last email, another person fell victim to the violence in Canton Trinidad. Dora “Alicia” Recinos Sorto, eight months pregnant at the time, was shot and killed while returning from the river where she was washing her clothes. She was carrying her two year old son in her arms when she was shot. The child was shot in the foot, but survived the attack. Alicia, who was thirty-two years old and the mother of six children, was an active member of the Cabañas Environmental Committee alongside her husband Jose Santos Rodriguez. According to witnesses, armed men showed up at Alicia’s home looking for José just a few days prior to her killing, and he had previously been attacked with a machete by Oscar Menjiver, a well-known promoter of Pacific Rim Mining corporation. Menjiver is currently in jail for his attempt on Ramiro Rivera’s life in August. Read More »

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