• Celebrating 20 Years of Solidarity

  • .

  • University Scholarship Students, 2013

  • Protecting our Water Resources

  • Language School

 

Romero Community Development, Land & Dignified Housing Project

 

group with land titles

    Monseñor Oscar Arnulfo Romero

Communal Development Association

      Tonacatepeque, El Salvador

                        and

Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad – CIS,

       Los Olivos CIS (U.S. 501c3)

                                                                   

Introduction 

El Salvador shares the social and political experiences of most countries of Central America: a small ruling elite, abject poverty, foreign interference and domination, and civil war.  Compounding and exacerbating the situation, El Salvador is prone to volcanoes, earthquakes and floods.  The people that came together to form the Romero Community suffered through these adversities, displaced by the war, Hurricane Mitch and the 2001 earthquakes.  They asked the Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad, CIS, to accompany them on their quest for land, permanent homes and dignity and a future for their children.  The combined effort is The Romero Community Development, Land & Dignified Housing Project.

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The   Romero Community Land & Housing     Project -- Timeline

7.9 Earthquake - Saturday, 1/13/01

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11th International Election Observation Mission of the CIS

Press Conference

Introduction

We congratulate the Salvadoran people for your overwhelming participation and your commitment to strengthening the democratic process in El Salvador.  We congratulate the TSE (Supreme Electoral Tribunal) for having successfully assumed many challenges and responsibilities in such a short period of time after their installation and with little time to implement the recent electoral reforms.  We congratulate the JRVs for carrying out such a heavy but important workload.  Their commitment and dedication facilitated the process and contributed to its transparency, something so fundamental in a democratic process.

Once again, the CIS observed the strengthening of the democratic process in El Salvador with the implementation of Pluralistic City Councils, the minimum 30% participation of female candidates and the direct vote for PARLACEN (Central American Parliament).  These reforms are product of much debate sustained throughout various years.  The process was calm and there was little violence and confrontation.  The participation of representatives of the political parties gave confidence and guaranteed the transparency in each phase of the process.

Although the crossover vote was a reform was ordered by the decision of the Constitutional Court, and it opened more options for voters, it also generated confusion and uncertainty surrounding the voting process and also generated a slow and complex count and scrutiny process.  The small amount of time to prepare and train the people involved in the process due to the obligation to implement said reforms with only three months to go also increased the uncertainty and confusion.

The TSE organized the complex process in a small amount of time, although there were things that could have been done better, for example, the lack of a trustworthy system for the transmission of results added to the uncertainty and they should take measures to improve this in the future.

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A smile for Denis and the Youth of El Salvador


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Today, the Center for Interchange and Solidarity – CIS is receiving a donation of 5,400 almost indestructible soccer balls from One World Play Project.  We are receiving this donation in order to give alternatives for the youth of the country and strengthen community organization and recreation in communities and schools with scarce economic resources.  The balls will be distributed in 25 municipalities in the country through community organizations.

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We are calling this campaign “Playing Soccer for Peace; A Smile for Denis and the Youth of El Salvador” and will launch a special recreation and violence prevention initiative for youth.  The CIS has a scholarship and formation program for youth in 15 municipalities in the country which supports over 200 high school students and 100 university students each year.  Last year, several of our scholarship students abandoned their studies and some even left the country due to threats from gang members.  Some have been beaten up and require psychological treatment.  One star student, Denis Vladimir, who was in his 5th year of Architecture in the National University of El Salvador, studying Intermediate English at the CIS, a catechist at the San Francisco de Asis Parish and a big soccer fan, was assassinated September 2nd, 2014 when he left the University after a soccer game.  Denis had a contagious smile and we want to use that to demand justice, organize and empower communities to take back parks and streets and construct peace.  We dedicate this donation and the tournament we are organizing on Saturday March 14th to Denis and his family as a symbol of the situation that families and particularly youth from scarce economic resources and the middle class face in this country.

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To promote equality between men and women by playing and participating in recreational spacesWe propose

  • To construct recreational spaces, education and employment for youth
  • To take security measures for youth such as cameras in buses and public spaces, remove address on personal ID cards and put a ‘chip’ in them, since various youth are being threatened due to the address on their ID card
  • To work together to strengthen community organization and collaboration with community police, schools, churches and other agencies to break the silence and reduce fear.  We can change the future for the youth of the country. But only if we are organized and work together.
  • To play, accompany, respect, dialogue, and search for alternatives for youth at risk

We thank One World Play and their sponsor, the Chevrolet Corporation, for this opportunity to smile and make changes through play.

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