Monday, August 09, 2010
Monday brought our overview of the socioeconomic status of Morazan by the Governor´s office. Unlike our governor, in El Salvador governors are appointed by the president. Morazan´s governor however is unique in several ways. First, community organizations in Morazan petitioned the president that he be appointed for his long history of community organizing in the department. Another characteristic that makes him unique is that he is a former priest that preached liberation theology and lived among the guerillas in Morazán during the war. We also met a charismatic Irish priest who is the current parish priest of the Catholic Church in Morazan and who has lived in Central America for the last 30 years.
For the rest of the day we met an impressive group of people. First up was the Association for Local Economic Development in Morazan, a coalition of nonprofits working throughout the department. Most of the nonprofits we will visit the rest of the week are members of the coalition. Next we visited a coffee cooperative, Cooperativa San Carlos -- another impressive and historic organization. It is historic in a sense because it is one of a handful cooperatives in the country that remain from the original land reform efforts in 1980. This one was greatly reduced but survived and now its membership continues to grow with approximately 91 small coffee producers in its membership rolls. They produce extremely high altitude coffee, considered some of the best in the country. I can´t wait to try the coffee I bought there. Finally, after the roar of a tropical thunderstorm, we met with a women´s organization called the Association for the Integral Development of Women. We learned of their history, challenges, and successes, and shopped at their clothing store of indigo dyed shirts and products.
Governor Argueta and Fray Alfredo with Evelyn Gonzalez at the Monday morning briefing.
The Governor of Morazan and the Parish priest in front of the old army barracks. They would like to see the barracks demolished and turned back into the town´s central park.
Members of ADEL Morazan, a coalition of nonprofits working together for 18 years for the economic development of the department.
Members of the San Carlos coffee co-op and Sister Cities delegation members Don Mooers and Karla Silvestre.
President of ADIM, a women’s nonprofit that empowers women with new skills that allow them to increase their family´s income (shown here with indigo used to make their products)
Ana Lopez of Community Bridges buying indigo from the Association for the Integral Development of Women.
POSTED AT: 11:00:00 PM