• Celebrating 20 Years of Solidarity

  • Next Election Observation Mission in 2018

  • Community building and construction in Romero Community

  • Violence Prevention through recreation

  • Language School

  • Small Businesses for Women

  • Providing Access to Clean Water

diggingWe began the potable water project in Romero Community in late August 2016. $1,100 will provide potable water for one family. Consider making a tax deductible donation. Your donation will be matched dollar per dollar. So with just $550 your donation will be matched to provide a family with potable water.trench


Come to El Salvador and help the Romero Community build their homes!

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Arrival date: Jan 11th, 2016.  Departure date: Jan 19th, 2016

zz11. Accompany the community in constructing dignified homes and building their community.
2. Learn firsthand about the reality of El Salvador
3. Build solidarity to overcome social and economic inequality.

Who should come?
1. People who want to do hard work, builders and non-builders alike who can carry out skilled and unskilled labor.
2. People who cannot do hard work in the hot sun, but would like to work with young people or other community tasks. You can contribute by bringing literature in Spanish, art supplies, games, jump ropes, softball equipment, teaching materials for basic English, etc.

People will live in the community and have a few nights at a guest house in San Salvador. You should bring hats to keep the sun off your face, water bottles, sheets, and plan on roughing it a bit. There will be mattresses and hammocks available for people to sleep on in the community. A translator and guide will be with the group to help facilitate organization and communication for those who do not speak Spanish.


zz2Costs: $600 will cover all in country expenses: food, meals, housing, internal transportation to and from the airport, and to and from the community and around San Salvador, translator and guide. The mattress you use will be donated to the community afterward.

Payments: Checks should be made payable to Los Olivos CIS and mailed to PO Box 76, Westmont, IL 60559.

Travel: Make your flight arrival on Monday, January 11. The work brigade officially ends on January 19th, but if you would like to stay on, you will be on your own from that point on. We can help you arrange to pay any additional costs which will be at a minimum.

Apply: write us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or download the application form directly here.

11th International Election Observation Mission of the CIS

Press Conference


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.

A smile for Denis and the Youth of El Salvador


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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