The CIS was founded in 1993 after the signing of the Peace Accords in El Salvador. Solidarity groups from the U.S., Canada, and Europe came together with Salvadoran popular organizations to develop a center to promote people-to-people relations after the war. The root causes of the war - economic and social injustice together with a lack of democratic openings to make change - were still present. It was agreed that continued international accompaniment and solidarity with grassroots movements for social and economic justice and participatory democracy would be needed to achieve structural changes in the post war period.
The CIS mission is to promote solidarity and cultural exchange across borders between the Salvadoran people and others in the search for development and dignity. We work to promote and strengthen a culture of solidarity that implies accompaniment, respect for equality of different cultures, and mutual support between people. We focus on using different strategies to promote a solidarity that creates the space for grassroots organizing for justice and dignity.
- Promote people-to-people solidarity in the search for development and human dignity.
- Promote human values and cultural exchange with individuals, delegations, representatives of private organizations, and government officials in order to strengthen solidarity and understanding of Salvadoran history and culture.
- Strengthen community and integrated development programs.
- Encourage the development and commercialization of Salvadoran crafts made by cooperatives, especially by youth, women, and ex-combatants.
- Deepen awareness and promote the defense of human rights in El Salvador.