Thursday, March 23, 2017

El Salvador, a place to learn about Resilience and Solidarity

I had the greatest opportunity to go down to El Salvador for the very first time to learn 

about the current battles and victories involving economic, social, environmental and 

agricultural issues. I have to thank Zulma from U.S Sister Cities - El Salvador for her 

moving presentation on the current issues in El Salvador. I also have to thank Victor for 

planning such an amazing and informational delegation, and most importantly I would 

like to thank all of the communities, and especially my host families for welcoming me 

(and the other delegation members) into their beautiful homes.  

Being in El Salvador for less than two weeks flew by quickly but in that little amount of 

time, I learned so much. I learned more about the country’s past than I ever would have 

in a book, the current struggles but I also learned the battles won, and how motivated 

the people of El Salvador are. In that short time, I also fell in love with the country, the 

landscapes and especially the people.  While there, what struck me was the 

overabundance of youth involvement. It was truly great to witness.

To be honest, when I signed up for the delegation I thought I would be doing hands on 

work in El Salvador but after spending some time in El Salvador, I realized that the act of 

solidarity is stronger than the act of trying to be charitable. Everyone that I met on the 

delegation were truly strong, inspirational and extremely motivated people. I (along with 

the delegation) visited many communities, from Guarjila , San Jose Las Flores, Aracato, 

to Carasque, and many more. We visited many communities and their projects, which 

were absolutely amazing! From the bamboo project in Las Flores, to the composting 

projects, and reforestation projects and the women initiatives. All of the projects were 

incredible. It was so great to see the empowerment of women and youth in the 

communities as well as the great organization and the strong unity of all of the 

communities we visited. It was also an honor to meet with many great organizations like 

MOPAO (Popular Movement for Organic Agriculture), CRIPDES and many more.  It was 

amazing to hear and learn about the great projects that are in store for the next couple 

of years.

While there were so many things that really stuck with me on this trip, there was one 

part of the delegation that really hit me and it was standing on top of the hill of the 

virgin of the resistance because of its extreme significance with the resistance of mining. 

The symbol of hill honestly speaks for itself and the people’s fight against mining. It 

made me realize that resistance is power. If it wasn’t for those people in the San Jose Las 

Flores standing up for their rights and environment, the mining company would have 

won, but it was the community’s persistence and energy that won the battle. There have 

been many battles won against mining, one of the most recent one being Cinquera 

municipality in CabaƱas, which is now the fifth territory free of mining. (Yay!) Though 

there have been many victories, there are unfortunately still many battles to be won and 

though there are still many battles to be won, it’s certain that there is no stopping the 

people of El Salvador from winning those battles especially those against mining and the 

use of agrochemicals, I also know for certain that I will forever stand in solidarity with 

the people of El Salvador.

There are so many places, and people that I didn’t mentioned in this small reflection but 

know that every part of this delegation influenced me in such a profound way. El Salvador 

is such a beautiful country, and people, both beautiful inside and out. Once again, thank 

you to everyone who welcomed the delegation and me with open arms.

Forever in Solidarity,