Posts Tagged ‘CRIPDES San Vicente’

Making it Happen: New Women’s Formation and Entrepreneurial School

March 5, 2015

International Women’s Day, March 8th, is a world-wide recognition of the role of women in politics, business, and social achievements of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In many countries, the day is observed as a national holiday much like Mother’s Day where loved ones shower the women in their lives with gifts.  In all corners of the Earth, events, programs, conferences, etc. take place to demonstrate international solidarity in the shared struggle for gender equality and equity in all sectors of society.

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Women gathered from both Lourdes Colon and Tecoluca for the School’s launching.

The theme of this year’s international celebration of womanhood is “Make It Happen,” meaning that gender equality and opportunity in the work force can only happen if women organize and demand that it be a reality. Here in El Salvador, CRIPDES is “making it happen” with the launching of their newest women’s empowerment initiative. On February 25, hundreds of women of all ages crowded a bakery in Lourdes Colon for the inauguration of The Women’s Formation and Entrepreneurial School. This new project will provide 200 women with the educational tools to start their own small business initiatives. Located in Tecoluca, San Vicente and Lourdes Colon, La Libertad, students will attend workshops throughout March and April in order to gain the necessary skills to implement and develop successful businesses.  Set themes include: Gender and Self Esteem in the Work Force, Life Cycles of Business, Business Woman: You are Not Alone, Business Administration, and Problem Solving in Your Business, among others. Read More »


CSV Scholarship Student Profile: Oscar

December 11, 2014


Gang Prevention through Youth Empowerment

October 23, 2014

Disclaimer: SHARE is dedicated to always keeping our staff and delegates safe. We rely on our Salvadoran counterparts, who have the best understanding of their reality, to keep us up-to-date with the level of security in their region. We only take delegates to areas where we know they will be kept out of harms way.

Two and a half years ago, in March of 2012, El Salvador’s two largest gangs, Mara Salvatrucha (MS 13) and Barrio 18 (18th Street Gang), signed a truce to end most of the violence and extortion between the gangs.  The truce proved to be successful in its first year. The homicide rate dropped from 14  to 6 a day. However, in the second year and a half of that truce, we have seen it deteriorate. From incredibly high rates of forced displacement (130,000 fled their homes in 2013) due to gang threats, to a day in May of this year known as “Black Friday” where in total 81 people were killed, less hope now exists that the truce will continue to hold up.  In early September of this year, there were rumors of a second truce in the works. Yet, nothing official has surfaced.

New president Salvador Sanchez Ceren and his administration have promised to make security a priority during this first year in office. Within the last week, a communal policing program launched to start building trust and ensuring safety on a neighborhood level. This initiative enlists small groups of police officers who work with community councils to watch over specific neighborhoods. However, this new programing doesn’t quite address the root cause of the gang phenomena.

The gangs thrive on the lack of resources for the majority of Salvadoran youth to study, and very few employment opportunities for the same demographic. The gangs provide a source of income for many young men coming from poor families. Poverty is one of the leading causes forcing youth to join the gangs. This same poverty leaves homes fatherless (either having migrated to the city or away from El Salvador altogether to make ends meet  for the family). This broken family unit has been proven a common theme in many of the lives of the youth that join the gangs. The gangs provide a familial-like structure, a place of belonging for young teenagers who feel they can’t find that from a more traditional source.

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Meet Silvia a scholarship student from CRIPDES San Vicente

April 18, 2014

Silvia a scholarship student from CRIPDES San Vicente

Silvia a scholarship student from CRIPDES San Vicente

Meet Silvia del Carmen Leiva Flores, a 20- year-old young woman from El Coyol Community.She is a high school student via distance learning through the National Institute of San Nicolas Lempa.

Silvia is one of the beneficiaries of the leadership development and academic formation project with CRIPDES San Vicente. This project fosters leadership and community organizing abilities of 21 young men and women through a training process, accompaniment in community organizing, and academic support. Read More »


Entrevista Silvia Estudiante becada en CRIPDES San Vicente.


Silvia Estudiante becada en CRIPDES San Vicente

Silvia Estudiante becada en CRIPDES San Vicente

Conoce a Silvia del Carmen Leiva Flores una joven de 20 años de la comunidad El Coyol que estudia primer año de bachillerato a distancia en El Instituto Nacional de San Nicolás Lempa.

Silvia es una de las beneficiarias del programa de desarrollo de liderazgo y formación académica, uno de los proyectos que Fundación SHARE tiene con CRIPDES San Vicente. Este proyecto fomenta el liderazgo y las habilidades de organización de las comunidades de 20 mujeres y hombres jóvenes a través de un proceso de capacitación, acompañamiento en la organización comunitaria y apoyo académico.

Lo que más le gusta Silvia sobre el Programa de Becas es que puede compartir con las personas que ha conocido de las otras comunidades, y el dinamismo con el que los promotores imparten los temas. Ella ha aprendido a desenvolverse y expresar lo que piensa, convivir y conocer un poco más de sus compañeros. Read More »


New Legislation Bans Chemicals, Aims to Prevent Kidney Failure

February 21, 2014

What do you do if one out of every four men in your town suffered from mysterious kidney failure?

This is a question that rural communities from San Vicente, El Salvador, to Sandamalgama, Sri Lanka, to Uddanamm, India have been asking since an epidemic started in the early 1990s. 

Massive floods, like 12-E in October 2011, contribute to the contamination of ground water.

Massive floods, like 12-E in October 2011, contribute to the contamination of ground water.

What do the victims of Chronic Kidney Failure in these far reaching countries have in common? They have little formal education, work back-breaking agricultural jobs in sweltering temperatures, handle pesticides and fertilizers, and drink ground water from areas near where these pesticides and fertilizers were applied.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) has increased threefold in El Salvador since 1990, rising 25% in just the past 5 years, and is now the leading cause of hospitalized deaths in El Salvador. CKD has disproportionately affected young men who live in rural communities and work long hours harvesting sugar cane. Between 2005 and 2012, 1,500 men under the age of 19 were hospitalized for CKD (out of a total 40,000 hospitalized patients of all ages during the same period). In a national sample 95% of CKD patients worked as agricultural laborers where they were required to spray pesticides and fertilizers.

On September 5, 2013, forty-five Salvadoran legislators voted for and successfully passed the Law to Control the use of Pesticides and Fertilizers that was championed by SHARE’s partnering organization, CONFRAS. This legislation originally banned the use of 53 of the most toxic chemicals commonly found in fertilizers and pesticides in El Salvador and many believe are the main contributing factor of CKD. After the legislation was approved by the Salvadoran legislators, President Funes revised the law to only include 42 of these chemicals.

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From SHARE scholarship student to literacy promoter

November 19, 2013

Carlos Gomez Marinero, 23 years old

Carlos Gomez Marinero, 23 years old

From SHARE scholarship student to literacy promoter, the tireless work of Carlos Gomez Marinero is inspiring to say the least. Carlos was born in the community of San Francisco Angulo, San Vicente.

Since graduating from university in August of this year, Carlos has worked with CIDEP´s youth literacy program.  The program is directed towards youth between the ages of 12 and 18 who have left their studies for various reasons, such as economic instability forcing them to find work, living too far from appropriate schooling, gang involvement or exclusion from local census research which identifies people and communities of need. CIDEP, along with the Ministry of Education (MINED), CRIPDES, and the International Organization of Work (OIT), makes up the Literacy Alliance in San Vicente. The alliance has worked to liberate Salvadoran society from illiteracy since 2009. Carlos is a proud member of CIDEP´s regional team, and hopes to leave his impact on the campaign, “by creating common conscience and developing lives.”

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Why should you go on a delegation?

August 18, 2013

UCC Salem delgates stand with El Socorro community members by the mural they painted together

UCC Salem delgates stand with El Socorro community members by the mural they painted together

“El Rosario was a metaphor of the country for me. There are bullet holes on the outside, but the inside is one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen. It represents a hopeful Salvadoran people.” -Cretin Derham Hall high school delegate

This Summer, SHARE led six Grassroots sistering delegations to El Salvador. An important aspect of SHARE’s sistering delegations is the community homestay.  Delegates experience Salvadoran life in a rural setting, learning how to make tortillas, playing soccer, and visiting with families.  Both delegates and community members come away from the experience with a new appreciation of another culture, and lasting relationships.

CRIPDES San Vicente hosted two delegations during the month of June.  Students and teachers from Cretin-Derham Hall spent 3 glorious days in El Sector Volcán, playing soccer, learning about what it means to be an organized community, and dancing the night away.

“I have learned that war is always terrible. It is never the answer.”Cretin Derham Hall high school delegate

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San Vicente Students Share their Challenges

May 17, 2013

On April 5th, 2013, the CRIPDES San Vicente team held their third scholarship student assembly with high school students representing various communities throughout the San Vicente region. Students had a chance to mix and mingle together before the assembly began. CRIPDES team members Amilcar and Esmeralda shared some of the advances of the team’s work in the region, before closing the assembly with a chance for a group photo and of course, passing out scholarship monies to students.

Students in San Vicente

Students in San Vicente

SHARE scholarship recipients Oscar Perez and Sandra del Carmen Alfaro sat down for a short interview. Both age 17, they shared the different community activities they participate in, as well as the challenges they face as youth.

Tell us about the activities in which you participate in your community.

Oscar: Well, I participate in some activities in my community, like in church projects, and in other activities, for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day.

Sandra: In my community, I participate in … well, when there are community meetings, they always look for me to read the minutes, and of course when there are festivals, I always support them too. Sometimes [the community] holds tournaments, and I always try to support them since I am a scholarship recipient, and [I also support my community’s] cleaning campaigns, and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day celebrations, International Women’s Day and Day of the Child.

What challenges do you face as a student, as a youth?

Oscar and Sandra talk about their time as students

“Our challenge is to be able to learn so much…to be a professional.”

Oscar: Our challenge is to keep studying, keep moving forward, earn a degree, and be able to learn so much … to be a professional.

Sandra: Our challenges are also to complete the tasks we have at hand, our homework, to follow our dreams. If we are studying, it’s because we want to excel, not just to go to school to spend the day or the afternoon with others. So, yeah, learn all that, and participate in and support the program.

What would you like to say to grassroots partners in the United States?
Oscar: I would like to thank you for the support you offer us, it is really a big help for those of us with scarce economic resources, it helps us cover many expenses that we would not normally be able to afford. Thank you!

Sandra: Yes, that’s our message!


CDH Delegation Returns Home in Solidarity with El Salvador

July 6, 2012

 After 10 days in El Salvador, the Cretin Derham Hall Delegation returns home to the United States but their spirit and solidarity will remain in the hearts and minds of the Salvadorian people. It is important to acknowledge the new sense of liberty that our young delegates experienced, because after embracing the history of El Salvador, their sense of liberty is likely to be different. Upon their return the youth are welcomed in the mist of the celebration of their nations’ Independence Day; a celebration which has now taken on a new meaning. Their understanding of what true liberty and justice is, has now been reshaped and their appreciation for the privileges they took for granted has increased. This particular fourth of July has a different taste;  although the time is right to celebrate, their solidarity with the people in El Salvador will move them to join in the efforts to build a better El Salvador. 

July 4, 2012

Cretin Derham Hall

Twenty-four students and 4 faculty members from Cretin Derham Hall high school in Minneapolis wrapped up their visit to El Salvador yesterday at Ecoparque El Espino with a short but steep hike up to the platform overlooking the “valley of the hammock” where San Salvador is located.  They spent time there sharing their feelings and thoughts about their visit before breaking into groups to brainstorm ways that they can carry their experience home and continue to support for social and economic justice in El Salvador.

CDH Delegation in Eco Parque de Esquina, embracing their final day in El Salvador

Each student had a few minutes to reflect:  On this trip when did you feel most excited, really nervous or uncomfortable, overwhelmed in good or bad way, loved or saw love, surprised or shocked, angry, happy and filled with joy?  Then the group shared what was most on their minds – and what they are taking back home.

A few of the comments:

I’ll remember the people I met here and the hope in their eyes – and they work harder than most of the people I know back home.

When I think of the challenges of our home state, I’ll remember how other people in the world are living. Read More »


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