• 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

Justice for Denis Vladimir Rivas Ramirez, 5th year Architecture student at the University of El Salvador, Scholarship student with San Francisco de Asis Parish in Mejicanos, CIS and St. Peter’s Church in Kansas City, murdered on September 2, 2014.



Denis during a visit to St. Peter’s Parish in November 2013


Denis’ Background

Denis Vladimir Rivas Ramirez, born Feb. 16, 1991, came from a humble background in the community of San Judas in Mejicanos and led an exemplary life.  He lived with his younger sisters Diana and Elsy and both of his parents who are originally from Ilobasco, Cabañas.  Denis was always kind and considerate of others and wore a sincere and calm smile.  He worked with the San Francisco de Asis Parish youth council to help guide youth at high risk of engaging in or being victimized by violence and in his spare time.   He loved to play soccer/futbol with his friends.  When his life was abruptly taken, Denis was immersed in his last year of course work for a degree in Architectural Engineering at the University of El Salvador and had advanced to the intermediate level of English at CIS where he studied for the past 2 ½ years. 

Greeting from the Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad!

We are writing to you today to request your help.  The U.S. Embassy in El Salvador is seeking outrageous economic concessions from the Salvadoran government using the pending approval of a $277 million compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) as leverage. 

The U.S. is demanding that El Salvador repeal the law that enables the government to purchase seeds from small farmers and cooperatives for its highly-successful Family Agriculture Plan.

If this law is repealed, only corporations (including Monsanto!) would be able to bid on the seed contracts.

Its time for us to stop theunfair pressure on the Salvadoran government.
We need Congress to get involved THIS WEEK - and we need YOUR help to do it. 

Representatives Pocan and Honda are sending a letter to Secretary Kerry this Friday demanding that the U.S. government stop conditioning development aid on changes that would jeopardize family farmers in El Salvador, we need your Congressperson to join them. Your Representative needs to hear from YOU so they know that their constituents care about this issue.



There are two ways to take action.

First:  Email your Representative today. The more people they hear from, the more likely they are to pay attention.

Second: Call your Rep using the sample call script below - calls can really make the difference. Use this link to find their number in DC. When you call, ask for the person who handles Foreign Affairs. 

Hi my name is ________, a constituent from [your city]. I am calling because we need Representative ______ to join other Members of Congress to ensure that negotiations for the Millennium Challenge Corporation compact with El Salvador don’t threaten one of the country’s most important food security programs.

The Family Agriculture Plan currently helps 400,000 rural families by providing seeds, fertilizer and technical support to ensure that El Salvador has an adequate supply of corn and beans for its domestic consumption.

The US Embassy is demanding that the Salvadoran government eliminate a law that allows them to buy seeds for this program from small producers, not just from corporations, even though this provision has been instrumental to reducing poverty in El Salvador.

The US Trade Representative claims that they are "concerned" that the new mechanism for purchasing seeds from small-scale producers violates CAFTA, prompting the US Embassy to announce that unless the mechanism is eliminated, the MCC compact won’t be signed.

I am very concerned that the State Department would allow development aid to be used as a vehicle to promote the interests of big business over small-scale farmers.

Will Representative _______ sign onto a Dear Colleague letter being circulated by Representatives Pocan and Honda about this issue? [If so: Please contact Alicia Molt in Representative Pocan's office by the end of the day on Thursday]

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact the CIS at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..


CIS Needs:

Election Volunteers:

Jan. 1st-Mar. 25th, 2018

rsz el salvador elections good one


Being an election volunteer is a great way to improve your Spanish,

learn about democratic development, electoral processes,

and Salvadoran history and culture. 


(Plus, your duties end right before Easter, which is 

a great week to be travelling in El Salvador). 


Click Here for more information!

You can pay for solidarity crafts purchases and CIS program fees through one of two ways:

By Check or Money Order in USD:

Checks and Money Orders in US Dollars can be made out to "Los Olivos CIS" and sent to our U.S. office at:

Los Olivos CIS
PO Box 76
Westmont, IL


By Credit Card:

CIS accepts payments online v.i.a. credit card through PayPal. Please note thatPayPal will add an additional 3.5% surcharge to your payment to cover the fees that Paypal charges us for this service. On your final receipt it will apear as a tax.

Examples of Payment with Credit Card:

Payment Cost Automatic PayPal Surcharge (3.5%) Total PayPal Charges You
Spanish School Application Fee $25.00 $0.88 $25.88
Volunteer Fee $100.00 $3.50 $103.50

Please select your payment type below. If you are making a payment to the Youth Formation and Scholarship Program, please select "Scholarship Payment" and specify the community in the field below.

Payment Type
Scholarship Community