"Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution by all to the good of all." - Archbishop Oscar Romero
Dear Friend of El Salvador,
With the holiday season upon us, we would like to say thank you for your generous, tranquil contributions to our work for peace and justice in El Salvador. As the year comes a close, please allow us to share some of our ongoing efforts to build a more equitable El Salvador.
Unfortunately, as Salvadorans try to build more equitable community development, they find themselves in the midst of historic reconstruction. Mid-October’s Tropical Storm 12-E produced in only ten days the yearly average in rainfall in El Salvador, causing devastating floods in 85% of the coast. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated and thousands of homes and crops were destroyed. It was the most severe storm and flooding the country has faced in a generation.
The storm’s other costs are overwhelming – close to $2 billion in lost infrastructure, crops, and agricultural output. Indeed, the storm’s effects cut the nation’s projected economic growth in 2012 by more than half. In coastal communities, this means lost livelihoods and means to feed, house, and clothe families. We are appealing to our supporters to donate generously to our Emergency Relief & Reconstruction Program to help Salvadorans recover from the devastation.
The final year of our CIDA-supported project in Cabañas and Custcatlán provinces creating participatory spaces for democratic governance has been an unqualified success. Rural Salvadorans are now increasingly involved in setting the development agenda at the municipal government level. They have collectively produced Municipal Development Plans that prioritize their felt needs and have presented them to local government authorities. As the project prepares to close, community leaders are closely monitoring the development plans’ implementation. People-power builds just and sustainable local development. We thank you for your ongoing donations to help SalvAide contribute its 25% share (approximately $145,000) of total project funding.
Our highly successful "Trees for Prosperity" project continues to make real improvements in people’s lives. Through the resolute commitment of our twinned communities, organic, fair-trade cashew tree growers are generating much needed income while also practicing ecologically sustainable agriculture. Our partner, APRAINORES, has asked us to make a special appeal to donors as they work to rebuild after the tragic flooding in October. The cooperative’s members have been severely affected with many losing their harvests for the year. In addition, the cashew processing plant was seriously damaged by the rains, and only now is APRAINORES getting back on its feet. Your donation will help bolster their efforts.
Finally, our Solidarity Delegations Program continues going strong. In 2011, SalvAide facilitated another Algonquin College, Ottawa Catholic High Schools, King’s College at UWO, and COMPADRES y COMADRES Teachers Delegation to El Salvador. All were opportunities for Canadians and Salvadorans to exchange experiences and build camaraderie for real long-term South-North solidarity. We're gladly preparing for the next round of delegations in 2012, including our special Election Observers Delegation for the upcoming March 11th mid-term elections in El Salvador. We are accepting applications until 3 February. Click here for more information.
All in all, it’s been another busy year at SalvAide. And we welcome the responsibility of continuing to accompany Salvadorans’ struggle for social justice! We are extremely fortunate to count on our committed family of donors as we carry out our work. For much more information on our work, please browse through our website.
On behalf of our staff, Board of Directors, and most importantly our partners and communities in El Salvador, thank you wholeheartedly for your ongoing support.
With best wishes for a joyous holiday season, yours in solidarity.
René Guerra Salazar, Executive Director