The SHARE Blog

“In this house we want a life without violence toward women.”

April 29, 2009

The following article, written by Sara Miller Llana, was published in The Christian Science Monitor’s blog:

SUCHITOTO, EL SALVADOR – Time seems to have stood still in the colonial town of Suchitoto, about 30 miles from El Salvador’s frenetic capital, with its quiet cobblestone streets and perfectly preserved architecture. But now its white-washed walls are adorned with a 21st-century message: “In this house we want a life without violence toward women.”

The words, which are accompanied by a bird and flower, the symbol of Suchitoto, forms part of a campaign by the Feminist Collective for Local Development to “elevate societal rejection of domestic violence, and make it a subject we should all be worried about,” says local feminist activist Morena Herrera. Read More »

Stop the raids and deportations!

Join the SHARE Foundation on Friday, May 1st, in Washington, DC to march for immigrant justice. This is a critical time for all those who support the immigrant community to mobilize and demand that President Barack Obama make good on his promise to put forward immigration reform legislation in 2009.

Our demands:

  • Stop the raids and deportations
  • Just and humane immigration reform
  • End the 287(g) Agreements (no local enforcement of unjust immigration laws)

To join the march, meet at Malcolm X Park at 3PM (click here for directions) and at 4PM we will march to the White House.

This mobilization is sponsored by the National Capital Immigrant Coalition (NCIC). To endorse this action, contact David Thurston at

– Sara Skinner, US Grassroots Coordinator

Catholic Church presents 300,000 signatures against equality

April 25, 2009

The Catholic Church presented El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly with 300,000 signatures of people who are in favor of a constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union solely between a man and a woman. Only 56 votes are needed to approve the amendment, and all but one political party (FMLN) have stated their support for the amendment. The Archbishop of San Salvador, José Luis Escobar Alas (left), stated that the legislation would not discriminate against homosexual relationships. Instead, the legislation would serve to “safeguard the good of the family, the good of matrimony, and the good of society.” He further stated, “We want to put up padlocks so that society’s values are firm.” Read More »

Past is Present in El Salvador

April 23, 2009

More at The Real News

Salvadoran Government trying to ban gay marriage…

There is limited information and news regarding the new constitutional amendment for the Salvadoran government on making marriage only between a man and a women, but the following article was posted on the Melbourne Community Voice for Gay and Lesbian Readers:

Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Members of El Salvador’s gay community hang a rainbow flag bearing the words ‘Paedophile Priests’ in Spanish outside the Legislative Assembly in San Salvador on Monday, April 20, 2009 to protest the Catholic Church’s request to legally prohibit marriages between gays.
The action is a response to the Church’s claim to have amassed 200,000 signatures on a petition in support of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages, which is currently before the legislature.

“The basic unit of society is the family, and consequently so is marriage, and therefore it deserves a true constitutional definition,” the Archbishop of San Salvador, Jose Luis Escobar, said at a press conference on Sunday. He went on to say same-sex marriages “are not moral and therefore cannot be considered marriage, but in fact are [unions], but that’s another thing,” the website reports.

The LGBT movement in El Salvador has continuously fought for job security and simple recognition. They have not fought for marriage, but ARENA has pushed this agenda and now we will find out today if the Legislative Assembly will pass the amendment.

*Photo courtesy of the Melbourne Community Voice for Gay and Lesbian Readers.

-Posted by Gregory Stock, Communications and Development Officer

Summit of the Americas Recap

April 22, 2009

Thirty-four heads of state and government attended the fifth Summit of the Americas this past weekend (April 17-19) in Trinidad and Tobago. For the first time since the Summit of the Americas began in 1994, free trade was not the focus of the discussion. Rather, Cuba was a major topic of discussion, with some leaders hoping that Cuba will be invited to the next Summit of the Americas, as well as immigration.

The tone of the Summit was notably different from previous Summits under the government of President Bush. While Obama proponed that he wanted a new, more mutual relationship between the US and Latin America, many leaders remain skeptical. Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said prior to the Summit, “I’m going to ask the United States to take a different view of Latin America. We’re a democratic, peaceful continent, and the United States has to look at the region in a productive, developmental way, and not just think about drug
trafficking or organized crime.”

At the summit, Obama and many of the other presidents drew upon Obama’s race for optimism for social progress in the region. Obama included comments about his race in his remarks about Latin America being the most unequal region of the world, and identifying himself with the lower classes that have notbenefit ted from US ties with the economic elite of Latin America. Obama intends to address this disparity between the rich and the poor. While Chavez sees potential for increasing understanding with the poor, Bolivian President Evo Morales was less optimistic. An official commented, “Morales said to [Obama], ‘I can see publicly that there has been a change, that you have learned’ — and then he mentioned his race — ‘but that the actions of your people on the ground in my country are no different.”

*Pictures from Tim’s El Salvador Blog and The Miami Herald.

– Leslie O’Bray, SHARE Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern

Weekly Current Events, April 17, 2009

April 17, 2009

In the 16 April edition of Prensa Latina, they reported that governing party of El Salvador, ARENA, approved the Law of Integral Protection of Children and Adolescents. “The law establishes universal education for children and adolescents, prompt medical attention in cases of emergency by an hospital, either from the national network, social security or private sector.”

The Associated Press reported that President Barack Obama will be entering the Latin American region for the first time today, Friday, during the fifth Summit of the Americas. The summit agenda has six topics of interest: prosperity, energy, the environment, security, democratic governance, and the summit process itself.

It was reported by the Associated Press on Wednesday from the Vatican City that there will be a doctrinal investigation into the leadership of the Catholic sisters of the United States, reportedly because they have not sufficiently promoted the Vatican line on homosexuality and other issues. There have been problems since 2001 regarding the sisters lack of promotion of teaching on homosexuality, salvation and the priesthood, which the Vatican says is reserved for men. The US Conference have said they have been confident in their teachings and have been faithful to its mission of women’s orders.

Sources: Prensa Latina, Nassau News Live, The Seattle Times, and the Associated Press.

-Gregory Stock, Communications and Development Officer

Empowered Women, Empowered Communities!

Shoveling soil is HARD! That thought ran through my head over and over again as I watched SHARE Foundation’s delegates and members of cooperatives shovel compost as the sun beat down on the tin roof that barely covered the compost soil pile. We kicked up dirt and sand and soon everyone’s brightly colored sneakers were covered with muted brown earth. I gulped down water from my water bottle and wiped sweat from my brow with my sleeve.

The group I was with was comprised of American University students and MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger’s staff and board members who had come to observe El Salvador’s historic elections and learn more about Salvadorans who are fighting for justice and creating real change in their communities. This group visited two cooperatives that participate in SHARE Foundation’s local development program: Los Frailes (The Friars) and the Marta Gonzalez Cattlewomen’s Cooperative (ACAMG).

Read More »

UN loans $15 million for agricultural development

April 13, 2009

The United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) plans to loan $14.98 million dollars to El Salvador to advance agricultural production in rural areas. This newest initiative is projected to benefit 30,000 Salvadorans living in marginalized communities, and is directed towards landless farmers, agricultural laborers, rural women and youth, and small business owners.

The project will provide access to financial services, technical assistance, and markets, to help “transform subsistence agricultural and off-farm activities into profitable, rural businesses and micro-enterprises.” It will also incorporate efforts to manage micro-watersheds and rehabilitate environmentally deteriorated areas.

– Leslie O’Bray, SHARE Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern

* Photo taken from UN News Centre

“Mo(u)rning in El Salvador”

Robert Lovato wrote the article below in The Nation about his recent experience in Izalco, El Salvador. He relates the FMLN presidential victory to events throughout El Salvador’s history, notably to the 1932 killing of around 30,000 indigenous peasants, known as La Matanza.

In Izalco, El Salvador, an idyllic but very poor village nestled under the gaze of the great volcano of the same name, I asked Juliana Ama to help me understand how the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), the guerrillas-turned-political-party, had managed to triumph over the Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) in the presidential election on March 15, ending the right-wing party’s twenty-year reign. Ama guided me to a dusty, football field-size dirt lot adjacent to a church. The 61-year-old schoolteacher said nothing at first, staring meditatively at a round spot blackened by a campfire or some burnt offering. Then she said simply, “It’s our dead.”

To read the rest of the article, click here.

– Leslie O’Bray, SHARE Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern

* Picture taken from The Nation

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