The SHARE Blog

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 »

The Reality of El Salvador, Part 2: Economics and Violence in El Salvador

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 second part of the talk.


Part 2: The Economy and Violence in El Salvador

They say in our country that 10 percent of the population has 90 percent of the wealth and 10 percent of the wealth is distributed among 90 percent of the population. This is what provokes the majority of the problems that we have in our country like delinquency and violence. Its what provokes the social struggles. Just a few minutes before I entered this room, the police were chasing a thief down the street, which is a common sight in our country. This is not just chance, its a product of a long history of social problems that have not been resolved. In the last 20 years under the ARENA government, this inequality has become worse. But apart from this, we have problems with the entity with whom we do the majority of our business and that is the United States. The economy of El Salvador is in crisis right now in large part due to the poor administration of the ARENA government of the past twenty years. But also, in part because of the economic crisis that is affecting the United States and that now affects the entire world. Read More »

The Reality of El Salvador, Part 3: Agriculture

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 third part of the talk.


Part 3: Agriculture in El Salvador
Another one of the large problems we have is the lack of employment in the campo. This was provoked by the fact that in 20 years of ARENA government, they destroyed agriculture in our country. There was a man who was the President of El Salvador named Cristiani, he has a business in which he sells agricultural seeds and products and he is the only one who sells seeds in this country. So in 1992 when they started to implement the neo-liberal model in our country, they negotiated with agricultural producers in the United States, that El Salvador would dedicate itself to the maquila industry. So that it wouldn’t be necessary to have agricultural producers here in El Salvador, it would be cheaper to buy the corn and the beans from the United States and bring it here. Read More »

Climate Change in El Salvador

December 7, 2009

This is a video about climate change in El Salvador that was produced by UNES, an environmental organization here in El Salvador. To watch the video, click here

To watch the whole nine minutes, you must download the video, but you can watch the first seven online.

Election Day in Honduras

December 3, 2009

This article was written by Lisa Haugaard and published by the Latin American Working group. It gives a great analysis of the elections in Honduras.

Elections took place Sunday, November 29th in Honduras with National Party leader Porfirio Lobo declared the winner.

But elections carried out under a state of emergency, with visible military and police presence, by a government installed by coup, with a significant movement opposed to the coup calling for abstention, and with the deposed President still holed up in the center of the capital city in the Brazilian Embassy, are no cause for celebration. As we wrote to the State Department on November 24th, “a cloud of intimidation and restrictions on assembly and free speech affect the climate in which these elections take place… basic conditions do not exist for free, fair and transparent elections in Honduras.”

The United States’ apparent eagerness to accept the elections and move on has put it at odds with many Latin American governments. “Latin American governments accused the administration of putting pragmatism over principle and of siding with Honduran military officers and business interests whose goal was to use the elections to legitimize the coup,” wrote Ginger Thompson in the New York Times.

To read more

After 20 years, Salvadorans remember slain martyrs

November 20, 2009

This article was posted by Dan Nemes on the National Catholic Reporter, it’s about the recent 20th Anniversary of the Jesuit killings in El Salvador.

San Salvador, El Salvador
Salvadorans from every segment of society gathered here Nov. 14- 16 to commemorate the 1989 murders of six Jesuits, and their housekeeper and her daughter.

Many used local events to reflect on El Salvador’s progress since the end of the country’s civil war in 1992.

It was 20 years ago that a Salvadoran military unit broke into the grounds of Central American University, brutally killing Jesuits Ignacio Ellacuría, Ignacio Martín Baró, Segundo Montes, Joaquín López y López, Amando López and Juan Ramón Moreno, as well as their housekeeper, Elba Ramos, and her daughter, Celina.

At the entrance to the university, only a short walk from the courtyard where the priests and the women were executed and where they are buried in the university’s chapel, students collected supplies to contribute to disaster relief efforts after heavy rains Nov. 8 that led to mudslides, killing 160 people and leaving more than 12,000 homeless.

Carrying out the university commitment to social justice, several noted, is one way students could remember the Jesuits. “This is what they stood for, helping the poor,” one said.

Read more

Photos of destruction in Aguilares

November 19, 2009

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