Volunteer http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer Fri, 18 Jan 2019 03:26:04 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb isaiaspo@gmail.com (CIS - Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad) Election Observation Volunteer http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/election-observation-volunteer http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/election-observation-volunteer HERE***Next elections in El Salvador will be in 2019!*** 

The Center of Interchange and Solidarity – CIS-   invites you to participate in the

13TH CIS International Election Observer Mission

Human Rights and Democracy in El Salvador 2019:

As a short term Observer:  January 28th – February 5th, 2019 (arrival and departure dates)

As a medium or long term Volunteer:

January 1 – March 30, 2019 (arrival and departure dates)

November 5th, 2018-April 4th, 2019 (arrival and departure dates)


Click HERE to download the application form now and send it to electionmission@cis-elsalvador.org

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 In the upcoming February 3, 2019 election, the people of El Salvador will elect the President and vice President of El Salvador.   If there is not a candidate who wins 50% +1 vote, there will be a run-off election on March 10th.   It is a priority to have observers in the first round, but CIS will also organize observers in the event of a second round. The CIS Mission plays an important role in providing objective observation, maintaining alert political parties tempted to manipulate the process, and providing important recommendations to strengthen the democratic process.

The elections come on the heels of the 2018 municipal and legislative elections, where there was an upset in the balance of traditional political party power. The right-wing ARENA party won a sweeping majority – even though it had 60,000 less votes than 3 years ago, and the FMLN received a strong message of discontent from its followers, losing 400,000 of its votes from the previous election.  

The former FMLN mayor, Nayib Bukele, who was expelled from the FMLN, has started the process to form a new political party, Nuevas Ideas (New Ideas), which has an up swell of support particularly from young people who have felt left out of the political process. The other right wing parties PCN and GANA also won a decent block of support in the elections. The 84 Legislative Assembly Deputies are divided as such:   ARENA 37; FMLN 23; GANA 11; PCN 8; PDC 3; CD 1; Independent candidate 1.   The FMLN does not have 1/3 or 28 seats in the assembly needed to weigh in on important votes that require a 2/3 majority, such as international loans, the election of the Human Rights Procurator, Supreme Court Magistrates, Election Tribunal Magistrates, among others, though in some cases the GANA party will align with the FMLN to provide a 1/3 vote block needed to pass some important decisions of a qualified majority (2/3 vote).

Current polls show the New Ideas Party with a clear majority of support from the population – however there is a perception in the communities where CIS works that ARENA and FMLN are trying to block it from gaining legal status as a political party to stop it from being able to compete in the elections. The other option is for New Ideas is to run with a smaller existing legal party, but it would take steam out of the new movement, since many of the existing political parties have lost the trust of the population. New Ideas is criticized for not having a clear political platform, but many base their support on the administration of Nayib Bukele as Mayor of Nuevo Cuscatlán and then San Salvador, the country’s capital city, where he put into motion efficient administration, support for recreation, culture, education for youth, effective violence prevention programs with at risk youth, and safety measures that have brought people back to the streets of San Salvador after dark.

ARENA has elected Carlos Callejas as their presidential candidate. He is CEO and heir to the country’s largest supermarket chain, Super Selectos. He is projected for his youth and creating jobs (albeit poorly paying jobs) and ARENA sees him as a clear contender to beat Nayib Bukele.   Callejas has been in an alliance with Bill Clinton and Carlos Slim to create training and jobs in rural areas of El Salvador, but this unholy alliance is also questioned for their intent to bring metallic mining back to El Salvador.

The FMLN militants elected Hugo Martinez as their candidate. He has been the Minister of Foreign Relations for the past 9 years under President’s Mauricio Funes and Salvador Sanchez Ceren. He has a history of being a leader in the student movement at the University of El Salvador during the war as well as heading up an Institute for Political studies of the FMLN.   Many see his candidacy as a challenge to the current direction of the party and their top down model of organizing. Whether he will be able to lead internal structural reforms has yet to be seen, but it is also critical for the FMLN to rebuild its trust with its base after a strong electoral defeat.

The CIS program will include meetings and trainings for observers as well as opportunities to visit communities and learn more about Salvadoran reality.   Observers will meet with the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the official electoral body in charge of elections, Political Parties competing in the elections, Election oversight boards, the Human Rights Procurators Office, and other institutions. CIS observers will be well trained and play an important role sharing objective observations and recommendations for reforms.

CIS program will also focus on human rights issues facing the country, especially immigrants’ rights, youth rights and gender rights. We will visit communities affected by immigration and deportation as well as CIS empowerment programs that generate alternatives to migration and violence. We will meet with women who are serving 30 – 40 year prison terms for alleged abortions, who in reality suffered miscarriages or still births, and the movement that is working to get these women out of prison as well as legislation to allow abortion in the event a women’s life is in danger or she is the victim of rape or incest.

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In country Program Fees: Fees do not include flights to and from El Salvador. You are responsible for booking and paying for your own flight on the recommended days. If you arrive early or stay late, the CIS can make additional hotel reservations for you upon request and let you know the additional costs.Please send your applications as soon as possible, but at least one month prior to start date. Fees are due one month prior to the start date.

Short-term Observer Delegation Program:   January 28 – Feb. 5, 2019. We recommend that you arrive in the morning or midday flight on January 28 to get full orientation and depart on the afternoon flight Feb. 5th so you can participate in the Tuesday morning press conference. Per Person cost for participation in program, translation, meals, all in country transportation from Jan 28 – Feb 5:

$900 – single room accommodation

$800 Double occupancy room

$700 Shared room (3-5 people)

$575 if you have your own housing. Breakfast will not be included, and you will have to get to the CIS or the Observer Hotel at indicated departure time. CIS will drop you off in the evening.

Observer applications due by December 14th, 2018.

Medium and Long term Observer Volunteers: Jan. 1 – March 30, 2019 or November 5, 2018 – April 5, 2019 (arrival and departure dates) will not be required to pay program fees. They will be responsible for covering flights and room and board expenses. CIS can arrange special discount family stay for medium and long term volunteers for $80 per week including breakfast and dinner; or $50 per week with no meals included. Spanish is a requirement to be a medium or long term volunteer. Applications due by Nov.1, 2018.


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Observadores con  Padre Antonio


You can download an application form (http://cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/election-observation-volunteer) or can request an application form.

To request an application form, more info and to send application:  electionmission@cis-elsalvador.org

Please send fees to:  LOS OLIVOS CIS / P.O. BOX 76 / Westmont, IL 60559 or pay on-line: http://cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/payments

For more information, please visit our website www.cis-elsalvador.org,

Like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/cis.elsalvador.org


isaiaspo@gmail.com (Super User) Volunteer Mon, 08 Jan 2018 05:37:00 +0000
English School Volunteer http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/english-school-volunteer http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/english-school-volunteer  

To surmount the situation of oppression, people must first critically recognize its causes, so that through transforming action they can create a new situation, one which makes possible the pursuit of a fuller humanity.

- Paulo Freire

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The Mélida Anaya Montes English School is looking for volunteers who want to teach English in San Salvador, El Salvador. The school is dedicated to teaching English within a context that facilitates growth as human beings and contributes to the movement for social justice in El Salvador and the world. Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity that provides a unique learning and hands-on educational experience. It is an experience that will undoubtedly be both challenging and rewarding and will shape the way you view the world.

The CIS BLOG with click


  • Contribute to El Salvador's social movement in their struggle for justice.
  • Assist adults engaged in the Salvadoran social movement in increasing their capacity for their work and struggle for justice. Also assist adults who are interested in gaining knowledge about current injustices and how they can support the struggle for a more just society.
  • Gain practical and theoretical exposure to critical pedagogy and popular education techniques.
  • Become aware of the structures that oppress the people of El Salvador.
  • Be an integral link in the consciousness raising process.
  • Be a part of the international solidarity movement.
  • Engage in cultural and language exchange with Salvadorans.
  • Make a concrete contribution to the development of El Salvador.

The CIS offers half-price Spanish classes to our English teachers, 2 weeks free of the Political Cultural Program and discounted  Click here to download the Application form

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  • Small classroom setting with 7-12 students.
  • Training provided for teaching English as a foreign language and using popular education methodology.
  • It is not a requirement that English teachers speak Spanish. For those interested, Spanish classes are available at half-price.
  • Participation in a weekend excursion to various points of historical and cultural interest in El Salvador.
  • Assistance in finding housing within a network of Salvadoran host families. (Monthly living expenses are estimated to be approximately US $400.)
  • Minimum time commitment includes a 2-hour class that meets three evenings a week, a discussion group one evening a week, plus class preparation, teachers' meetings and workshops throughout the session (10-15 hours per week).
  • Additional teaching and volunteer opportunities are available.
  • English teachers must be fluent in English.

Please check out our blog with some past students/volunteer testimonies! http://www.ciselsal.blogspot.com/

Remaining Dates for English Volunteers in 2017-2018

  • 2018 - Session 4: September 6th → November 16th   Teacher Training: September 6,7, & 8

    Classes Run: September 10th - November 16th

  • 2019 - Session 1: January 3rd → March 14th   Teacher Training: January 3,4 & 5

    Classes Run: January 7th - March 14

  • 2019 -Session 2: March 28th → June 6th Teacher Training: March 28,29 & 30

    Classes Run: April 1st - June 6th

  • 2019 -Session 3: June 20th → August 29th Teacher Training: June 20,21&22

    Classes Run: June 24th - August 29th

  • 2019 -Session 4: September 16th → November 21th Teacher Training: September 12,13,&14

          Classes Run: September 16th - November 21th

 To apply, click here to download an application and please submit a completed application and one letter of recommendation to volunteer@cis-elsalvador.org or email us for further information. We also require a $100 program fee, which will be used to assist in covering the cost of materials and in-country transportation. The program fee should be sent to our U.S. address, or it can be paid online at:

Payment Type

Note: We will review your application AFTER we have received your program fee. This fee is non-refundable if you decide not to volunteer with us. If for some reason, however, we do not accept your application, then the fee would be returned to you. Priority will be given to applications received at least 2 months prior to the session start date. 

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What Teachers and Students Have Said

My English classes are a great opportunity to learn, I like so much the technique to teach all of our class to participate equally.

- Bessy del Carmen Zepeda, English School Student

Through the process of exchange you gain a profound understanding of how the history of this country has affected the people. It is a very genuine way of learning, of experiencing a country.

- Richard Caleb Pearshouse, Volunteer English Teacher

Teaching English at the CIS is an excellent way to learn about the culture and reality of El Salvador and at the same time to create new relationships, some long lasting, with students in your classroom, with other teachers and with the CIS staff. At the CIS we all learn from each other.

-Ann Legg, Woodstock, Illinois, USA

I was both a teacher and a student during my time at CIS. It is a wonderful place to be, not only because is it a good place to learn, but also because it is a place to make lifelong friends. One year later, I still talk to many of the people I met there and we all want to come back as soon as we have the chance. CIS offers the chance to learn about and discuss social issues in a comfortable setting with people from all kinds of different backgrounds.

-Leah Solheim, CanadaIMG 6532

Teaching English at the CIS is an incredible opportunity for growth. You learn so much from your students about El Salvador, and you come away from the experience with a broader global perspective and more highly developed sense of empathy. Plus, it's fun and dynamic! You have the freedom to design lesson plans and really choose the issues you want to teach and the impact you want to have.

-Margaret Boehme, USA


isaiaspo@gmail.com (Super User) Volunteer Wed, 03 Jan 2018 05:29:00 +0000
Youth Formation and Scholarship Program http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/26-youth-formation-and-scholarship-program http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/26-youth-formation-and-scholarship-program Interns will be assigned responsabilities depending on their personal abilities and the needs of the program at the moment.  Many volunteers are responsible for helping systematize manuals for grassroots educators for workshops with youth on various themes such as environment, analysis of Salvador reality, economic alternatives, gender, human rights, etc. Depending on the time of year, they are also often in charge of translating profiles for scholarship recipients in order to share data with donors.

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Learning Outcomes

  • Learn about the reality of youth in El Salvador and different challenges they face.
  • Learn about participatory methodology for workshop facilitation.
  • Strengthen Spanish and/or translation skills.

Some tasks the intern might perform include:

  • Help develop and facilitate workshops, with CIS grassroots organizing team, on diverse topics: environment, sexual and reproductive rights,
  •  women’s rights, human rights, organic gardening, mining, water filters, etc.
  • Systematization of formation workshops with youth carried out by CIS organizers.
  • Translate CIS scholarship and youth formation manual from Spanish to English
  • Translation of Scholarship Recipient Profiles
  • Help plan yearly scholarship retreat
  • Visit communities, take notes during meetings, write updates on how communities are doing.

Required Skills

  • Advanced Spanish written and/or oral skillsIMG 7058
  • Facilitation and/or education skills
  • Writing, editing, layout, and/or graffic design


Contribute to El Salvador's social movement in their struggle for justice.
• Gain practical and theoretical
participatory methodology for workshop facilitation.
• Become aware of the structures that oppress the people of El Salvador.
• Be an integral link in the consciousness raising process.
• Be a part of the international solidarity movement.
• Engage in cultural and language exchange with Salvadorans.
• Make a concrete contribution to the development of El Salvador.


-Orientation is provided upon arrival
-Assistance in finding housing within a network of Salvadoran host families  (Monthly living expenses are estimated to be approximately US $600)

-Minimum time commitment includes 8 hours a day, 5 days a week

-Minimum must commit 3 months

Dates for 2018 Sessions:

  • 2018 - Session 1: January 11st→ March 23rd 

  • 2018 -Session 2: April 5th → June 8th 

  • 2018 -Session 3: June 7th → August 24th 

These dates include a 3-day pre-service orientation and training for all volunteers.

For more information, please e-mail info@cis-elsalvador.org

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isaiaspo@gmail.com (Super User) Volunteer Tue, 02 Jan 2018 04:55:00 +0000
Salvadoran Enterprises for Women Volunteer http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/24-salvadoran-enterprises-for-women-area http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/24-salvadoran-enterprises-for-women-area IMG 0513

Accompany CIS support to Salvadoran Enterprises for Women in rural areas with economic depression and low levels of formal education. The will include participating in evaluations

with women and writing up a written report of the results in both Spanish and English. For persons with business administration or related background can assist in developing and facilitating workshops on basic accounting, how to calculate costs and prices, commercialization and other business development workshops.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn about the economic reality of rural villages in El Salvador

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  • Learn about the strengths and obstacles in developing businesses in areas of economic depression, low levels of education and other difficulties.

  • Learn participative methodology for workshop facilitation.

Some tasks the intern might perform include:

  • Accompany CIS grassroots promoters to evaluations with small businesses

  • Write up evaluations in Spanish and English

  • For persons with business administration or related background, assist in developing workshops on basic accounting, administration, commercialization, calculating costs, etc.

Required Skills

  • Bi-lingual: Spanish / English

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  • Facilitation skills

  • Business, accounting, or other related skills

 ** for more information or to apply, please write to info@cis-elsalvador.org


isaiaspo@gmail.com (Super User) Volunteer Wed, 13 Dec 2017 04:53:00 +0000
Grassroots Organizing Volunteer http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/grassroots-organizing-volunteer http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/grassroots-organizing-volunteer Brief Position Description

The Grassroots Community Organizing Inter's main role is to support the CIS grassroots organizers that work in different communities throughout El Salvador. Specific work will be based on the needs of the program as well as the abilities and preferences of the volunteer. There are three specific areas of the program. (Applicants can name a preference for which program they would like to work with.) The areas are:

  • Salvadoran Enterprises for Women
  • Clean Water Campaign
  • Youth Formation and Scholarship Program


All areas require the following skills (additional requirements are listed below when applicable):

Bi-lingual: Spanish / English
Strong group facilitation skills

Detailed Descriptions of Each Area:


isaiaspo@gmail.com (Super User) Volunteer Fri, 08 Dec 2017 05:30:00 +0000
Clean Water Campaign http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/25-clean-water-campaign http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/volunteer/25-clean-water-campaign Support CIS campaign for clean water advocacy, education, and training on use of filters in communities with scarce economic resources. Accompany CIS promoter to communities to carry out workshops and install filters.DSCN2186

Learning Outcomes

  • Participative methodology and workshop facilitation.

  • Learn about water rights on the international level

  • Learn about water contamination, health impact, and obstacles for the economically poor.

Some tasks the intern might perform include:IMG 0220

  • Help systematize information on levels of contamination of water in communities, the impact of CIS campaign in the communities, through setting up data base.

  • Accompany CIS promoter in workshops on awareness raising about clean water, right to water, the link between contaminated water and health and environment, distribution of filters, evaluating use of filters, and how to use filters correctly.

  • Do community visits to evaluate impact of filter program and the impact of different filter systems.

Required Skills

  • Bi-lingual: Spanish / English

  • Education or workshop facilitation background

  • Plus –(optional) chemistry or science background related to testing water for parasites, amoebas, bacteria, chemicals or other contaminants.


-Orientation is provided upon arrival
-Assistance in finding housing within a network of Salvadoran host families  (Monthly living expenses are estimated to be approximately US $600)

-Minimum time commitment includes 8 hours a day, 5 days a weekDSCN2223

-Minimum must commit 2 months

Dates for 2018 Sessions:

2018 Session 1: Jan 8th-March 23rd

2018 Session 2: April 5th-June 6th

2018 Session 3: June 7th- Sept 5th

2018 Session 4: Sept 6th-Dec 6th. 

These dates include a 3-day pre-service orientation and training for all volunteers.

For more information, please e-mail info@cis-elsalvador.org

isaiaspo@gmail.com (Super User) Volunteer Tue, 06 May 2014 04:54:31 +0000