Posts Tagged ‘Education’

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.


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

Cuentos de Chalatenango: Youth Leadership Development and Academic Formation

September 27, 2014

The following is the semester report of the Youth Leadership project in Chalatenango.

With this project, the CCR will strengthen youth organizing in Chalatenango communities, including Hacienda Vieja, Las Lomas, El Amatillo, Jícaro, Ignacio Ellacuría, Teosinte, Chalatenango, Los Posos, San José Cancasque, Buena Vista and La Lima. Scholarships will incentivize youth to get more involved in community organizing and participate in community structures. The CCR will work with youth to build their leadership skills through formal and informal education spaces.
Project duration: January-December 2014

This semester included:
Three bi-monthly youth scholarship assemblies held for the 16 high school students. Each assembly
features a workshop regarding a certain theme relating to the scholarship students’ holistic leadership
formation: historic memory, mining exploitation, and analysis of current events.
CCR team members have given similar workshops in the schools where scholarship students study.
Youth helped organize and participated in various historic commemorations and other community
activities in Chalatenango.

Read More »

Celebrating 2013!

December 30, 2013

Here are just a few highlights of what SHARE Donors made possible in 2013.

You can ensure these important programs continue in 2014. Donate today!

There is still time to donate in 2013!

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Salvador Sánchez Cerén: From Guerilla Commander to President?

December 6, 2013

Salvador Sánchez Cerén is a Salvadoran politician, one of original founders of the leftist party, Frente Farabundo Marti (FMLN), and the dissolved political-military organization, Fuerzas Populares de Liberacion “Farabundo Marti” (FPL).  He is the FMLN’s presidential candidate for 2014, with VP candidate Oscar Ortiz.

He was born in the city of Quetzaltepeque on June 18th, 1944.  Quetzaltepeque has indigenous origins and literally means “the quetzal’s (colorful bird) place”. Sanchez Ceren comes from a large, working family.  He grew up with twelve brothers and sisters, his mother and father.  His father was a carpenter by trade, and his mother was a market vendor. He went to primary and secondary school in Quetzaltepeque, at Centro Escolar Jose Dolores Larreynaga.


Sánchez Cerén worked as a teacher, after graduating from the National Teaching School Alberto Masferrer in 1963.  On June 21st, 1972, he founded the National Association of Salvadoran Educators (ANDES 21 de junio). In 1992 he was elected as an FMLN parliamentarian, and then re-elected in both 2003 and 2006 as the Chief of Party. In September of 2007, he was nominated vice president, and won the campaign alongside current president Mauricio Funes.

Once vice president, he took position as the Minister of Education. As Minister, he was best known for his school uniform and cup of milk programs, that provides every student through the 9th grade with a uniform, two pairs of shoes, and a daily glass of milk.  But in June of 2012, he renounced his position as minister, and announced his candidacy for the 2014 Presidential Elections. His running mate is Oscar Ortiz, the popular former mayor of Santa Tecla.

Sánchez Cerén and Ortiz have a very clear platform: to continue with positive changes for El Salvador. They speak of a country of hope, change, and opportunity for its people. The majority of the FMLN platform focuses on education, economic development and violence prevention. Sanchez Ceren wishes to generate more jobs, stimulate the public-private sector, and support small and medium-sized businesses. He is also committed to strengthening Salvadoran agriculture, fighting crime, defending the constitution, and to governing with honesty, integrity, austerity, ethics and efficiency.


Salvadoran Youth Combat Poverty and Develop Communities

November 12, 2013

Not everyone has access to the basic human right to write and read. In El Salvador many people suffer this injustice. Without the work of the Ministry of Education (MINED) and the various organizations working together to carry out the National Literacy Campaign, Salvadoran society wouldn’t be able advance towards the day when no student, adult or young person, has to give up schooling for reasons such as: being obligated to work due to economic conditions, living too far from local schools to attend, or lack of resources to afford materials and uniforms, among many other barriers.

Karen and

Karen showing her group’s work.

In 2009, FMLN President Mauricio Funes launched the national literacy campaign  “Si, Yo Puedo” or “Yes, I can”  adapted from both Cuban and Nicaraguan models that rely heavily on volunteers. A similar campaign was pushed previously under ARENA President Tony Saca; however, it operated on a much smaller scale and all employees were paid. The current program, which serves to provide a second chance for both children and adults deprived of education, only exists because of the tireless work the volunteers put in with few paid employees. The Ministry of Education hires only 26 promoters that are placed in each of the  departments and  oversee recruitment and training of volunteers who implement the literacy circles. Each municipality also has a local program in conjunction with MINED under the supervision of their Mayor’s office, which contracts its own promoters.

Read More »

“Juntas Somos Más”

November 4, 2013

Women at the Natonal Assembly cheering!

Women at the Natonal Assembly cheering!

On October 15th, The Alliance of Rural Women convened for the Third National Assembly, at the National University of El Salvador. Various organizations of women working for gender equality through education compose the Rural Women Alliance, including: the CCR, CRIPDES, CORDES, National Network of Women Leading Change (RMPC) , Research Institute for the Training and Development of Women (IMU) , Salvadoran Women’s Movement (MSM), Mélida Anaya Montes Association Movement (Las Mélidas), and AMSATI, a women’s agricultural organization within CONFRAS, the Confederation of Federations of Agricultural Cooperatives from the Salvadoran Agricultural Reform.

The assembly conveyed the power that rural women are gaining as they organize their communities and advocate for policies that will improve the lives of rural families. Rural women confront various threats in their communities, such as machismo, domestic violence, lack of opportunities to obtain jobs in the public sector, the lack of education regarding women’s rights and laws, as well as the complete lack of educational opportunities generally.

At the first Assembly in 2011, the women discussed the politics of gender equality and the importance of creating a space for female organization. In the second Assembly in 2012, the women presented specific policy demands to various government officials who signed commitments assuring positive change. However, the objective of this year’s assembly was to encourage women to embody an articulate front, and to demand answers from government officials who promised to facilitate dialogue between women and the Legislative Assembly. The absence of these government officials at the Third Assembly was a symbol of their failure to follow through on their commitments. Juanita, the women’s coordinator from the CCR, insists that the next step is to “transform these demands into real changes and to implement new public policy which is in favor of rural women”.

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“Literacy is both a challenge and something we owe to our people”: International Day for Literacy

September 12, 2013

On September 8th, the Salvadoran Ministry of Education celebrated the International Day of Literacy at an event highlighting the success of the National Literacy Campaign. This initiative has reduced illiteracy in El Salvador from 18% to 12% and will continue promoting literacy until at least February of next year.

Angelica Paniagua, National Literacy Coordinator

Angelica Paniagua, National Literacy Coordinator

Angelica Paniagua, the national director for the literacy campaign addressed the crowd of hundreds of volunteers involved in the campaign. “Illiteracy is a challenge that all of El Salvador will face until completely resolved.  Because until all of our adults, youth and children can read and write, we will not have justice and freedom,” expounded Paniagua, “Literacy is both a challenge and a something we owe to our people. It is a means of communication, social expression and it is a part of our culture.”

During the event, an older woman from La Palma, Chalatenango shared her story of learning to read and write. “My goal has always been to become a teacher.  But first I needed to learn how to read and write.  I am so thankful for the classes I have received.  Someday I will reach my goal,” she read with pride. Another guest at the table of honor was a fourteen-year old volunteer. He is responsible for teaching forty-six adults in La Hermita, San Miguel. Not only did he express how committed he is to the literacy campaign, but most importantly to his community.  “The best part is hearing their stories.  If we are an educated community, it is less difficult to trick us,” he said.   Read More »

Community Dreamers

August 30, 2013

Alexandra and Yésica in front a painting of Father Rutilio Grande

Alexandra and Yésica in front of a painting of Father Rutilio Grande

SHARE El Salvador Solidarity Coordinator Sarah Hall recently had the opportunity to join the monthly assembly of SHARE High School Scholarship students in the UCRES region of Northern San Salvador. Students came together for dinámicas (ice breakers), discussion groups, and social analysis on an early Sunday morning.

Through this scholarship program twenty-two high school youth receive a monthly stipend to cover the cost of transportation, books, and school supplies and attend monthly workshops or assemblies where they discuss gender equality, violence prevention, and the national reality.

Students wake-up by playing dinámica (icebreaker)

Students wake-up by playing dinámicas (icebreakers)

SHARE sat down with two of these students, Yésica Arely Hernandez, age 16 from the community Ita Maura, and Alexandra Gonzalez Hernandez, age 18 from the community William Fuentes, to discuss their lives, goals, and experiences as high schoolers in Northern San Salvador.

It didn’t take long for both students to mention their experience with the violence in Northern San Salvador. Even with the gang truce they shared that many students still plan their schedules and activities to avoid being out of their communities after dark.

“When someone leaves the community, they don’t know if they’ll get home okay or if something might happen to them.  It’s a consequence of the insecurity,” Yésica explained.

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A is for Alfabetización

July 3, 2013

Fourteen SHARE literacy brigadistas (delegates) arrived last week in San Salvador to learn about the literacy campaign in El Salvador, helping the 14% of the Salvadoran population who are currently illiterate achieve basic reading and writing skills. These brigadistas are high school and university students, mothers, and idealists who saw a need and understood some of the reality for someone who has had the doors of knowledge closed on them. 100% literacy in El Salvador starts with volunteers who can share the knowledge that ought to be a human right for everyone.

The SHARE brigadistas met with fellow volunteers and those coordinating the literacy endeavor, including the Minister of Education, Franzi Hato Hasbún, and the head of the Department of Literacy within MINED, Angelica Paniagua. Both officials shared the achievements and goals of the Programa Nacional de Alfabetización (PNA) at a conference with MINED and CISPES. Delegates learned about educational structures of the past and how the present literacy program (PNA) is evolving educational access for Salvadorans. It is exciting to witness the volunteers who are crucial to the literacy program’s success. Stay tuned for more updates from the Literacy Brigade!

“A literate community is a dynamic community, one that exchanges ideas and engages in debate. Illiteracy, however, is an obstacle to a better quality of life, and can even breed exclusion and violence” (UNESCO).

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