Tuesday, September 8, 2020

CIS CLEAN WATER AND ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM – SUPPORTING ORGANIC VEGETABLE PROJECT WITH THE COMMUNITY OF VALLE NUEVO IN TONACATEPEQUE

Today I visited the small community of Caserío Valle Nuevo, and I couldn’t help but be reminded of how resilient people can be. Driving the through Distrito Italia for the first time in almost six months with Don Luis and Yeny, I was struck by how normal everything seemed. Everyone was wearing masks, but the streets were as full as I could ever remember them. Ostensibly, the trip was to deliver some farming tools to a community agricultural cooperative in Valle Nuevo, but we stopped first for a brief meeting at the small clinic in Distrito Italia with some of the leaders from Romero Community. I was reminded of how close some of these communities are. Community organizers in Romero, for example, must necessarily know and work with any of the local health professionals. There is often little distinction between a business meeting and a social call here. 

   

We loaded up the tools at Romero Community—a few wheelbarrows and various rakes, shovels and other tools—and from there it’s only about a five-minute drive to Valle Nuevo. Quite a few community members were there to greet us, and it didn’t take long to unload, but by this point I had figured out that today wasn’t really about the tools. The people here wanted to show of what they’d built. Over the past two months, community members had taken a plot of unused and overgrown land and turned it into a huge garden with corn, squash, tomatoes, and other crops. And they’d done it by hand without so much as the proper tools for the job.




I met a woman named Carolina who owned the land in question. She told me how she was born here, in the community, and went away to study before returning a few months ago. She told me about her passion for sharing the things she has and the things she has learned with her community. The project she conceived of as a women’s cooperative when she arrived grew into a community-run agricultural project that will help the community be self-sustaining. She rents the land to the cooperative for $5. 



The community members led us down a side path to the huge garden. Esteban, one of the community leaders, talked proudly about how healthy and natural their produce was, singing the praises of the agricultural engineer that helped them design their methods. Carolina led me to the old well that will be crucial to the project’s future. The dry season is coming soon, and when it does, they will need irrigation. The well has gone unused for decades and the pump is broken, so the plan is to uncover it and draw water by hand until they can afford to buy a new pump. Here, Carolina told me about her vision for the future of the project, expanding to use the rest of her land, opening a bakery, and even teaching people craft skills that they can commercialize. The goal is to empower people in the community, particularly the women, and give them freedom and control over their lives.

It was good to be out of the city after so long. The women brought sweet bread and lemonade, and my tongue found itself remembering the rhythm of conversation and laughter in these rural communities that I’d forgotten after so many months in isolation. They sent us home with squash straight from the vine, a whole bag of freshly cooked corn on the cob, and the thought that maybe the world isn’t ending after all. We live in difficult times, but people keep moving forward despite everything.

BLOG BY CIS BVS INTERN CAMERON CLARK

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

PASO PUENTE-BUILDING HOMES-BUILDING COMMUNITY



CIS mission is to build relationships based on solidarity - mutual respect and mutual support. Our principle programs contribute to building communities and empowering women, youth, and those most marginalized to overcome poverty and to become advocates for social and economic justice, respect for the environment, and gender equality.

Our principal programs are youth scholarships and leadership development, women’s empowerment and micro enterprises, clean water and the environment, language and cultural exchange, delegations, and international election observation. We are also contributing to building dignified homes with partnerships with the local community and international partners. 

Paso Puente Community in the municipality of Tonacatepeque is made up of 150 families who were displaced by the 2001 earthquakes. They squatted on government land designated for economically marginalized families. They were granted title to their land in 2014. Still they lived in squalor conditions. CIS began to work with the community with the scholarship program and developing their community council. Still there was a lot of distrust toward anyone who came from outside. Only later did I learn that they had been swindled 3 or 4 times by people allegedly representing a foundation and asking for $50 - $100 each time from each family to develop a home building project. 

CIS was able to build off the experience of building 65 homes in Romero Community in 2016 after a decade long struggle to gain title to their land, and at the request of Romero Community and Paso Puente began to develop CIS programs in Paso Puente. In 2019, Holy Spirit Church in Kansas City became a partner with CIS and together with St. Elizabeth’s Parish are supporting scholarships and leadership development in the community. 

In 2019, CIS received a grant from the INTI RAYMI FOUNDATION for community support, but said we had to make sure everyone benefited equally. The leader of Romero Community, Raul Acevedo, asked CIS to invest it in Paso Puente. It was going to be a challenge with 150 families in need. We asked Raul to identify the 15 most marginalized families to start from there to contribute to dignified housing, and we would see how it developed from there. 

Then when a new government was sworn in on June 1st , 2019, we asked them to help CIS as we had the previous governments to support a transformation in the area and specifically to get potable water and homes for Paso Puente, and sewage and roads for the neighboring communities. To our surprise, they agreed immediately and visited the community on July 3rd, 2019 and have followed through on their commitment. Together CIS with the Salvadoran Ministry of Housing and FONAVIPO, Paso Puente Community, Homes from the Heart and international partners began to build and have now completed an additional 50 dignified homes.


Now, August 2020, there are 50 additional families in the community applying for support from FONAVIPO and CIS. The Salvadoran Government and the Ministry of Housing are committed to building dignified homes where they are most needed and have assured us that they want to continue the coalition with CIS and the communities. Homes from the Heart is one of CIS strategic partners raising funds for dignified homes.

This is part of an integral effort to transform the reality of an area stigmatized by violence, where youth have been accused of being gang members because of where they live, beaten up by authorities, and dismissed for consideration for a job application when they list their address; an area where the majority of the women could not read or write; an area where families lived in deplorable conditions, without basic services, and in shacks that cannot protect them from rain, pandemic, or crime. The CIS has worked with the women to get literacy classes. We now have over 50 scholarship students in Paso Puente and over 125 including the surrounding neighborhoods. We also include leadership and art and mental health workshops as many of the youth have been victims or witnesses to violence.

Now 65 more families have a safe place to guard quarantine and to be sheltered from the rain (130 total including Romero Community). We need your support to benefit an additional 50 families. The CIS contributes $4,000 per home. The Salvadoran Government is contributing $3,500 per home plus potable water, sewage and roads, invaluable infrastructure projects to complement the dignified homes. No donation is too big or too small.
  • $4,000 will complete a full home
  • $1,500 will build a bathroom with accessories
  • $1,200 will build a roof
  • $620 will pay for a tile floor
  • $580 will pay for electric installation and the pila where Salvadoran wash clothes.
  • $100 will pay for over site of the construction of each home.

This family is one of the new applicants for dignified homes in the Paso Puente Community.

This family is one of the new applicants for dignified homes in the Paso Puente Community.

We have lived for 18 years with many difficulties. A dignified home will mean better life and better studies. I have to study in deplorable conditions. My notebooks and important materials and books have been ruined and gotten wet in our shacks. We get sick from the humidity. The whole community has to share one water faucet, and it takes all day to fill a barrel of water. We sleep in fear because of the insecure nature of our shelter. We are marginalized by outsiders, who say only delinquents and thieves live in shanty towns. This project will improve our lives at all levels. We cannot afford to build our own homes, so this project is an enormous blessing.

-Community member July 2019.


We would like to thank all of you who have contributed to this project through Los Olivos CIS, Homes from the Heart, FONAVIPO, the Inti Raymi Foundation, Rainbow of Hope for Children, The Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, St. Rose Convent, The Pierce Foundation, The School Sisters of Notre Dame Atlantic and Midwest Province, Bob Chaney and family, community members and many other individuals and foundations who have contributed. 

We want to clarify that CIS is not a home building NGO. The community builds the homes and we support the process of building community. This effort is solidarity and part of a process of building and empowering communities who are willing to organize and be partners in the process. 

Written by Leslie Schuld, the CIS Director

Monday, May 4, 2020

Emergency Survey COVID-19-Community San Pablo Tacachico


EMERGENCY SURVEY-COVID-19

Date: 17 April 2020
Municipality: San Pablo Tacachico
Communities included in report:
San Jorge, Las Arenas, Paso Hondo, Copinula, Barillas, Plan del Amate, Campanas, Los Rivas.
(Please try to provide details. If your program covers more than one canton or hamlet, please specify the differences in each community).   The San Pablo de Tacachico Municipality scholarship program is made up of various communities or cantons that were previously mentioned; there are eight communities in total.

STUDIES
1.      How have your studies been affected?
R/ Majority of young students have been affected due to the form of student work taken, since we are working on the subjects via online platforms, and many of us do not have sufficient financial resources to access the internet. My studies have been affected since we have started internships, and we’ve only had three days and the knowledge acquired can only be practical.

2.     Do you have access to the internet? Where and how? (telephone, computer, cybercafé, residential service, prepaid card)?
R/ Yes. Residential, but I get it this way because it is shared with a neighbour, and we each contribute a portion of the monthly payment. I consider that most of us are having problems in the way we connect to the internet, since it is via telephone which generates more costs, because the internet packages are expensive and give little time.  Due to the problem of the emergency, there are no operating cybercafes at the moment, and most of us young people cannot leave home.

3.     What are the young scholars doing in their spare time?
R/ Some are collaborating in their communities with sanitation campaigns, doing household chores, living with their families and enjoying every moment by their side. We take care of going out twice a week to buy food for our families, others do not leave home, and others have told me they are participating in collaborative sanitation activities for the wellbeing of their communities. I dedicate my free time to: doing homework, reviewing different materials in certain subjects, and exercise.

4.     If some scholarship students are involved in a social project or supporting something in the midst of the emergency, comment on it.  We understand that most cannot leave and have had to suspend their social projects; however, some have given us reports of help with disinfecting and support for security measures when entering their communities, helping families get the $300.00; helps young people with their studies etc. 
R/ I have been collaborating with ADESCO (community council) in the organization for sanitation of the community. According to young people, in the month of April, they have not carried out social projects since the emergency prevention measures do not allow groups of people and the recommendation to stay at home, which is respected, to avoid spreading the virus. If I consider all of us, we have helped people to see if they have benefited from the subsidy.

ECONOMIC
1.     How is it affecting families economically?
R/ The economy is affected quite a lot, because many families had income through informal sales, and the only businesses operating are pharmaceutical and basic basket sales, so there are people already running out of economic resources and food.  The families that are part of the scholarship program are all of limited resources, therefore we are all hurting economically, since in some families we do not have the income of someone who works and helps us meet needs.  It is a problem, because my family has had to suspend their jobs, we have no monetary income, since my mom worked in the school cafeteria.

2.     For the families that have milpa (corn harvest), will the be able to plant in May?
R/ It depends on how the situation continues to evolve, because if the virus spreads and the quarantine extends, it’s impossible to be able to plant basic grains, because doing it would imply risk for the health of the family and the country. Also that agricultural supplies are going to rise too much so if everything gets expensive, that means that we are going to be affected in agriculture. My dad will not be able to plant because he cannot go to the place where he grows the cornfield, because he cannot go that far and he has not been able to prepare the ground.

3.     Do you have access to supplies from the basic food basket? Are there difficulties in obtaining them? (explain)
R/ Yes. Yes, because you have to wait in long lines to buy them, since many of the businesses are closed due to the emergency. Another thing is that there is no income to be able to acquire them, there are too many difficulties to be able to obtain food, due to the lack of money and the situation we are experiencing due to the emergency (stores closed). Yes, there are difficulties because the prices are too high.

4.     The families in which they do not have a salary and social security, have they received the $300 government subsidy?
R/ Some families yes, but others have not benefited, since they do not have access to the internet and have not asked for the corresponding help from other people. Most of the people who have benefited are those who have a considerable income and the poorest families have not had anything.

5.     Have scholarship students helped coordinate access to the $ 300 for their technology skills? Explain who has helped, and how many families.
R/ Yes. To family members and people in the community. Most were supporting this, since it was a benefit for themselves and also helping other people, such as grandparents or people who cannot read or write.

6.     If families do not appear on the list, do students help fill out the form? Have they been successful?
R/ So far, all the people consulted have obtained the benefit. Of course, all the people who have not benefited have been helped to fill out the form.

HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT
1.      How is the current mental health of families affected?
R/ It is affecting a lot psychologically, since many people are not accustomed to being alone locked up and this causes a desperation or anxiety to get out and continue with the routine of before the virus will affect. Many families are also scared and afraid about covid19, that is why they do not leave the house, but some more than afraid are mentally terrified and that is very damaging to the health of each of them.

2.     Do they have access to clean water?
R/ Yes, most families have drinking water thank God.

3.     Are there diseases in the community?
R/ Only chronic diseases, so far in the community there is no case with the COVID-19 virus. That is why everything is going well. Preventive measures are being taken to keep our communities healthy.

MEASURES
1.     What do you think about the measures that the government has taken (social distancing, subsidy, mobility restriction, detention in case of non-compliance with the measures, confinement of people in quarantine centers, among others)?
R/ For my point of view they are very good, since the president made the decision on time to quarantine and close all entrances or exits, to avoid contagion from many Salvadorans and seems he is concerned about Salvadoran people suffering from this disease. We only have to obey so that his strategy works for him. And if you have people in a containment center, it is those who do not want to obey and are making disorders in the streets or unnecessarily leave the house.
  • The distancing helps us not to acquire the virus easily.
  • The subsidy has benefited many people who are poor.
  • Mobility restriction, it is fine because there are vehicles that circulate in areas where there are already positive cases of the virus and if they enter communities where there are not yet positive cases, they can contaminate the inhabitants of the area. 
  • Detention in case of non-compliance with the measures, although it is a good measure because there are people who leave their homes without any need, they should be less rude.
  • The communities have been closed to prevent people from entering other areas and at the same time they are being fumigated.


Thursday, April 23, 2020

Testimonies from communities about how they are being impacted by the COVID 19. Third part.

COMMUNITY OF LLANO LARGO, MUNICIPALITY OF JUTIAPA, DEPARTAMENT OF CABAÑAS 

DIFFICULTIES AND OBSERVATIONS: 

• Food supply: 
Most of the suppliers of the local stores in the community have stopped their work, so we did not find the main foods of the basic basket available, and we know that some of the families in the community live day-to-day. 

• Lack of transportation: 
People looking to buy to supply their homes with food now find it very difficult since most of the public transport stopped working weeks ago and only two pick-ups are working. It is worth mentioning that the traffic police have limited them to transporting only 12 people since they are abiding by prevention measures to avoid crowding of people, and families who have vehicles do not help the rest to move because they are afraid that the police will fine them and even take them to the detention centers as punishment. 

• Businesses have declined greatly: 
The community is known for having enterprising people. The pandemic has affected all their jobs. Those who sold food have not obtained suppliers and have closed their businesses, and even if they could find it, they would not have sustainability because now they can only sell at home. We know that this virus has affected people the same worldwide, and some of the families that received remittances have stopped receiving them, and now they have no way to support themselves and even to buy basic food. 

• We have not received help from the authorities such as the mayor’s office: 
In most of the nearby municipalities, the mayor's office has helped families with food, masks, disinfectants and other articles for daily use. 

In our municipality we have not had the same luck. We know that the government launched a program to benefit with financial aid to the neediest families in the country, although here in the community there are many people who live day to day who, unfortunately, were not benefited, and it is very sad to see that the authorities do not provide their support. 

• The fear of leaving our homes: 
Most of us are scared all the time. The police make rounds in the community many times a day, hoping to find someone outside their home to take them to the detention centers, and even when people go to their work in the fields, they are afraid because they always catch their attention. 

**One positive thing is that the families in the community are abiding by the preventive measures. There are no crowds of people and they are leaving only to carry out necessary activities. Many families in the community are very united, raising their prayers to God daily so that this pandemic ends.


TEHUISTE

The youth from the scholarship program of Tehuiste (Up and Down) present the same obstacles. 

In the case of university students, they have difficulties with the use of online platforms, as these are new systems for them; the virtual modality is being implemented in universities to avoid delay in the school cycle. However, most young people living in the countryside do not have residential internet, and they lack the technical tools and competences to work in the world of Information Technology. 

The pressure of teachers to receive regular assignments makes the situation more complicated. Most students mention the lack of tutors to clarify doubts. So it is more difficult for them to understand the topics and, therefore, the homework in general. Besides the problem of internet access, students lack computers and other means. 

The solution, for the moment, has been to do their tasks on their cell phones. Although the deadlines placed by the teachers are very short and the internet connection is constantly lost. The bad signal provided by telephone companies in the area where they live complicates the situation even more. 

On the other hand, universities, despite the central government's call to waive payments, are still requesting payment of the fees. For example, the Lutheran University has sent a message to all its students, inviting them to make their payments. In it, they are informed of the bank accounts and the places where they can make such payments. 

Everyone knows one measure to reduce contagion is to obey the state of emergency for 2 more weeks, so leaving our homes is risky since the armed forces and the PNC are on the streets controlling those who do not obey the measures implemented by the central government. 

The fact of being quarantined and not have the full freedom to leave the house, in the voice of the young people, puts one more burden on all the aforementioned problems. Most students report going through episodes of depression and discouragement, mainly with their studies. Being used to a face-to-face methodology and, suddenly, being involved in a radical change has had a negative impact on their performance in class. 

Another point is the job instability of their parents, siblings and other family members, it is a concern that generates hopelessness in their studies. The few resources they have are being used up and there is no possibility of acquiring more. 

Text quoted from Jessica Servellon "Every day that passes we have the concern of how we will survive this pandemic, my family is concerned, bewildered, since at the moment no one is working, nor do we have help; we are running out of supplies and we do not know if we will be able to acquire more, the situation is very ugly, we do not know what else to do, we cannot go out looking for work, most work places and companies are closed because of the pandemic. All that's left is to wait... and have a lot of faith that things are going to change for the better." 

No COVID-19 contagion has been confirmed in Tehuiste so far, but all government measures have changed the lives of its inhabitants. 

The transport service (Pick-up) works with irregularities, agricultural work has been drastically reduced and the supply of food at the market of San Rafael Obrajuelo, where most people get their supplies, has decreased their products and increased their prices. Free movement and market entry without proper permission and the use of a mask is prohibited. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Testimonies from communities about how they are being impacted by the COVID 19. Second part.


CIS Reports from Communities

Romero Community



Context: 

The movement of people has decreased, since quarantine was decreed in the country. The city council member of the area moved through the communities sticking posters on the measures to take when facing Covid-19. 

A greater police presence is observed than previously. They have traveled with greater presence in the main streets of the urbanization and in the main street of Paso Puente. They have been talking to people telling them not leave their homes and have even forced families who own stores to close, starting at 6:00 pm. 

The presence of gangs has decreased, as has public transportation. Most families take prevention measures into account, although some young people are gathering to play soccer in front of the library in Romero. 

Studies: 

It is difficult for all students to submit homework on time because not everyone has access to the internet, smartphones, or computers where they can receive their classes, or the learning of a subject reaches a level [where they don’t understand]. 

With everyone in the same space in the home, without adequate conditions to receive classes does not favor learning. Adolescents and children share the feeling of being worried about the loss of school days and important activities in academic life such as the PAES [national exams]. 

In the Romero community, the initiative was taken to download the tasks of the Facebook group of the educational center where the children attend. They were placed at the gate of the communal house so that from kindergarten to high school they had access to them. But it is not the way to motivate learning. There too many assignments when you cannot even go out to a cybercafe! In addition to the fact that fathers and mothers do not all have the patience or the knowledge to support their children in school tasks that the teachers have not explained. 

Economy: 

It is a very difficult situation for everyone, but mostly for families who live day to day, such as informal vendors and those who work in various trades (washing, ironing, cleaning), and now with these restrictions they have been harmed. 

In the community and surrounding areas, people always pass by selling bread, tortillas, vegetables, atol, among others. But going out to sell does not provide assurance that they will earn enough income. It's maddening! Not everyone can go out to work, they are very few. 

Some families who are known to receive remittances subsist on them. They are extremely concerned that they no longer have it. Local fruits (cashews, mangoes, jocotes, bananas, pitos) are serving as a support, partially making up for what cannot be bought in the market (where there is not much access, there are shortages and high prices). 

Emotions: 

For years employment, studies, technology and other factors have generated conditions where family coexistence has decreased. Consequently, this quarantine is a challenge and a space of stress for many. 

It is observed and experienced that interpersonal relationships with the family are difficult to manage when there is no control over it. Adolescents and children are frustrated by not being able to go out or resume the routine they had. 

Some parents state that the lack of entertainment resources (television, cable) is a limitation to keeping children from entering into an extreme level of boredom. Or, on the other side, the children are overloaded with energy and with a lack of knowledge of recreational activities to do as a family. Children act very active where the emotional control of the parents is threatened ("how imperfect he has become" many parents say, although it is not that). It is just the accumulation of energy in children and they need to let it flow through games and physical activities. 

For those who have access to this entertainment, they neglect to live together as a family. 

There is a greater presence of arguments between siblings, children and parents, as a result of poor communication in families, and the spaces in the home that are shared. Increased sensitivity to noise, homework and academic arrangements create conflict. 

As for the news, people worry and are affected emotionally knowing everything that the media broadcasts. 


Suchitoto Center


As a scholarship program, we were affected by the pandemic since as of this date we have not held the March meeting because we are not allowed to meet in Suchitoto or in the communities. I want to comment that the program is made up of young people from different communities of the Municipality of Suchitoto. The scholarship holders, in order to receive economic support, must travel to Suchitoto. The pandemic and the measures affected all of us since public transport passes irregularly with a margin of one hour on weekdays, and on weekends they do not pass due to the household quarantine. The local government has imposed a measure allowing people to go out only twice a week and carry a document justifying the trip. In addition, in the communities, the PNC [National Civil Police] are monitoring that no one moves from one community to another. 

The measures imposed by the central government affected mobility in Suchitoto and the communities. In the institutions no one is working; the offices are closed until further notice. The committee evaluated and suspended the meeting twice in agreement with the CIS Promoter. The scholarship holders have not been going to schools and universities since March 11 of this year, which is when the alert and sanitary measures began. As a committee, everything was complicated for us since as of this date we have not been able to obtain all the profiles because in some communities there is no internet signal and the scholarship holders cannot travel to another community. Social projects are paralyzed. Mothers of families are afraid of the disease.


Affected Activities:

  • The high school classes are being carried out according to the work guides that the mother in each family received. They are paying money for internet to do the labs and periodic exams. The National Institute [High School] of Suchitoto has a virtual network; therefore, they put the assignments that they must do every week on the platform.
  • Zulma and Ernesto, both university students, are from the Valle Verde community. They have an internet problem due to the area where they live. With Ernesto, a family member from San Salvador helps him send his homework assignments since he has given him the portal password to review and indicate what tasks and activities he has. Zulma is a university student. She is in her first cycle of the career. For her it is very complicated because the area where she lives is not good for the internet. She has missed several assignments and classes online. She is trying to catch up and seek support, since she told us that she does not want to quit the cycle due to technical problems, although she has already missed assignments.
  • The mothers of families are concerned because some make their living from agricultural work, and due to the problem of the pandemic, the men are not working. The basic basket has suffered an increase in prices. At the moment, there is no work to be found.
  • The UES university students are carrying out their studies, since they have a virtual classroom, but they comment that they need the teacher's explanation, because there are topics that they do not understand. But they try to complete all their assignments on time. They also say that they are spending up to four internet packages per week on the Internet.
  • Silvia, a student at the Technological University of El Salvador, is a beneficiary of the apartment. She tells us that she has found it very difficult with some subjects since she is studying them virtually and that she does not understand some things. Also, in the apartment she had Internet; on the other hand, in her community sometimes she cannot find a store to use internet packages.
  • The fees of the private universities must be paid on the dates given according to each university’s instructions.
  • Social projects are currently suspended. Some scholars are helping children from their homes to carry out their assignments in groups of four children.
  • Regarding the scholarship profiles: to date we have not received all the profiles, since this was the main activity to be carried out for the month of March. The scholarship holders have not responded because of the delay. We are trying to solve the problem since there are profiles that are not well done.
  • Public transportation does not pass every day and can only carry around 25 passengers. They pass every hour and a half.
  • In Suchitoto, only the financial system and the City Hall are working.
  • The committee will take all measures so as not to put anyone at risk and respect each of their decisions. We will seek strategies to deliver the scholarship money and not affect anyone.
Translation from Spanish 4/5/2020

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Testimonies from communities about how they are being impacted by the COVID 19. First Part.

Comasagua 

Some buses of the public transportation service in Comasagua have increased the fare and have restricted schedules. 

Many families are being affected in their finances since women go to work in San Salvador or Santa Tecla, but now the work has stopped to prevent people from getting infected, but this has generated lack of food for poor families. 

Many cases of diarrhea and vomit have been reported too. The poorest families have not been included in the list of people who will receive the 300-hundred-dollar subsidy the government has announced, whereas some of the people who have been benefited are employees who do receive a salary (teachers and the like). 


San Rafael Cedros


I would like to inform you that we have had to stop the work on social projects and monthly workshops because of the current situation. It should be noted that the cases of illness increased during the days when students were starting to work on their activities. Because of that, we have not been able to give the students their scholarship money of March. We had planned to do it on March 22, but just that day the mandatory domicile quarantine came into force and, as a prevention measure, the scholarship committee made the decision to postpone the delivery of money. 

We are planning to deliver the money this week. We are aware that the economy of the families is not good because, due to the emergency, it is difficult for parents to go out to work and we know this money can help to pay for some basic needs. 

We are attentive to the situation in the municipality and, up to now, we can say that people are obeying the prevention measures the government has implemented. 

In terms of schooling, the work for students has not stopped since they are constantly receiving classes online and delivering tasks on virtual platforms so as not to lay behind in their activities. 

So far, there has not been any case that may cause alarm in our communities. 

Public transport is working so people in communities can mobilize to purchase basic things. 

When this situation finishes we will hold a meeting, first with the scholarship committee and then with the students, to conduct an assessment from the point of view of each of them and to report how they lived the situation with their families, what inconveniences they have had, etc. 


El Espíritu Santo Island

There are many difficulties that are affecting us, due to the disease and the quarantine that we are experiencing. 

1. Many of the people who are parents are out of work. 

There are people who are engaged in the extraction of shells. That is their only source of income, and they are out of work. 

The cooperative has stopped its work without receiving salary. 

The boatmen are also out of work because people do not leave the island. 

2. It affects the economy in the same way. There are families of our young scholarship students where only one person in the family worked, and today they are out of work due to the emergency. The situation that is being lived is unfortunate, since most of the rural people do not have an income. 

3. It is also difficult to obtain food, because you have to go to Puerto El Triunfo to be able to buy the necessary food. Not all the food is found on the island, and that is why you have to go out and buy it. 

This is the situation we are experiencing in my community said scholarship students from El Espíritu Santo Island.


Thursday, September 19, 2019

MEMORIA DE REUNIÓN VIERNES 06 DE SEPTIEMBRE DEL 2019 EN LA COMUNIDAD BELLOS HORIZONTES, COMASAGUA.


Equipo del Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad que acompaño a la reunión: Luis Aguillón Coordinador del Programa de Agua, Delmy Linares promotora, Arturo Severo Coordinador del Programa de Becas y Formación y Leonor Acevedo estudiante en servicio social. 


La reunión se llevó a cabo en el Centro Escolar Bellos Horizontes, con una asistencia de 25  personas, la mayoría de los participantes fue de género femenino. 

Delmy Linares y Arturo Severo se reunieron con la Promotora de Salud del ECO de la Comunidad, para explicar los lineamientos del Programa de Becas y los requisitos para poder optar por becas para jóvenes. 

El grupo de asistentes en apoyo de dos jóvenes, una mujer y un hombre estuvieron llenando unos formatos para las/os interesados en adquirir filtros de agua. 

Luis Aguillón dio inicio a la reunión, mencionando al equipo del CIS que le acompaña y da el espacio para que se presente la estudiante. 

Él explica la importancia de la higiene, el uso adecuado de los filtros de agua y realiza la reflexión sobre cómo se genera la contaminación, como afecta al ser humano con enfermedades gastrointestinales. 

Luis les pregunta ¿Qué es el medio ambiente? A lo que el grupo hombres y mujeres responden con ideas como, los árboles, el aire, los ríos, el agua. Por lo que se realiza una retroalimentación retomando las opiniones: “nosotros nos vemos como separados… nos vamos a morir de tanto calor. Las tormentas, faltan árboles, estos son importantes porque mantienen el agua”. 

Les pregunta de nuevo, ¿Cómo vivir bien? Con alimentación sana y adecuada, evitando alimentos dañinos como la grasa, la carne, la coca cola afectan nuestra salud, da la diabetes, osteoporosis. 

Aguillón, les brinda la temática haciendo referencia a la salud, mencionado la importancia de cuidar de la autoestima, amarse a sí mismo, amar la naturaleza y cuidarla. Primero amarse a uno mismo, a los hijos, a los niños/as, a la Comunidad y al país. 

Finaliza con las reflexiones, seguidamente inicia a explicar el uso correcto de como armar con los recipientes el filtro, como adaptarlo al primer recipiente. Les explica que las cubetas son de material propio, no es reciclado ni de pintura, por lo tanto, no puede generar contaminación. 

Se les explica la forma correcta de colocar los recipientes, para filtrar el agua, como limpiarlo y a que tiempo hacerlo que puede variar de 12, 8 o 2 días dependerá del sedimento que se extraiga del agua a través del filtro. 

Luis les indica que, no se debe lavar con lejía el filtro. Se les mostro fotografías de protozoarios y bacterias que se generan en el cuerpo por falta de higiene y que se dan por el agua contaminada. Da un ejemplo, sobre la función contaminante que tiene la mosca y muestra una mosca de peluche, esto genera diversión y atención a la explicación que brinda el promotor. 

Finaliza la jornada, el facilitador pregunta si tienen dudas, a lo que un señor reconoce que es un buen proyecto y que sería bueno que llegue a más comunidades. 

Se les sugiere, realizarse lo exámenes de heces y orina, para agregar al expediente del Programa de Filtros de Agua. Les recuerda el costo simbólico del filtro $10.00, presentarse a las capacitaciones como requisito. 

Se acordó realizar la próxima capacitación-reunión el 20 de septiembre del presente año, a la 1:00 pm. 

El equipo del CIS se retiró pero la promotora de Salud, se quedó impartiendo charla sobre la higiene y buenas prácticas.