The SHARE Blog

Remembering El Salvador for Martin Luther King Day, Part 2

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 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 »

A reflection on San Isidro

January 6, 2010

This piece was written by Mariah Hennen, a senior a Cretin-Durham Hall in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Mariah participated in a SHARE delegation this summer during which she and her classmates visited San Isidro, Cabañas. Mariah wrote this piece as part of her college entrance application upon hearing about the assassination of Ramiro Rivera, anti-mining activist, a few weeks ago.

The day was, like all the others on the trip, hot and humid. My back was stuck to the fake leather of the bus seats, my window propped open as wide as possible to allow any breeze to swirl around my body in an attempt to cool down. I was seated in the middle of the bus, surrounded by sixteen classmates, three teachers, two group leaders, the bus driver and Guadalupe. The bus was full of chatter and laughter, comforting sounds that seemed to complete the beauty of El Salvador. Even with the hot sun streaming in, El Salvador seemed to be the perfect paradise.

I had left the hostel in San Salvador earlier that morning, ready for a day full of new sights, sounds and ideas. I was traveling in El Salvador as part of a group from my high school. Read More »

Photos of Nueva Santa Teresa, San Vicente

December 16, 2009

Last week, SHARE staff Danielle and Tedde visited the community of Nueva Santa Teresa in San Vicente, they were accompanied by two friends of ours, one of which is a photographer. See Pat’s pictures of San Vicente on this website:

Assistance provided to affected communites

December 14, 2009

After being hit by heavy rains of November 7th, which killed almost two hundred people and destroyed around 10,000 homes, SHARE put out the word that emergency relief was needed and that we would be fundraising to provide immediate and long term assistance to those affected communities. We were overwhelmed by the generous response of individuals, groups and entire communities in the States who wanted to provide assistance to those suffering from the loss of their homes and of their loved ones. We would like to thank all those who have contributed and continue to contribute to those affected by the heavy rains. From the donations that we have collected we have been able to contribute support four different regions of the country. In La Paz, we worked through the organization ISD to give $5,000 for mattresses, bed sheets and blankets, and food packets. In San Martin we were able to give $ Read More »

The Reality of El Salvador, Part 1: The History of El Salvador

December 8, 2009

In August 2009, SHARE El Salvador Director, Marina Peña, gave a talk to Cretin-Derham High School about the National Reality of El Salvador. This talk has been split into three parts: The History of El Salvador, Economics and Violence in El Salvador and Agriculture in El Salvador. This is the first part of the talk.

Part 1: The History of El Salvador

My name is Marina Peña, I’m the director of SHARE here in El Salvador. Welcome to this small country. El Salvador is a country with much history: much history of struggle and hope. Despite the critical situation in which we live, Salvadorans don’t lose the hope of living in a better country. I’m going to tell you a little about the principal problems that we have in our country. In the subject of economics, we are confronting four main problems. The first problem which is a historic one is the problem of concentration of wealth. The wealth is in the hands of a small number of families who are very rich while the majority of the population is very poor. Read More »

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