El Salvador

CAFOD has worked in El Salvador since the 1970s. We focus on agriculture, promoting a culture of peace and justice, and empowering women. 

Ana Maria is a DJ at a community radio station which encourages women to stand up for their rights.

Ana Maria is a DJ at a community radio station which encourages women to stand up for their rights.

Why CAFOD works in El Salvador

The civil war in El Salvador ended in January 1992. Today El Salvador is a more democratic country. However, poverty, high unemployment and gang violence still make life very difficult, especially for women and young people. El Salvador is one of the most dangerous places in the world for women. Sexual attacks against women and girls are common and are often linked to gang culture. An outbreak of coronavirus, and a nation-wide lockdown is likely to increase the incidence of violent and sexual attacks. 

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Crime, violence and few job opportunities mean that many people feel their best chance is to migrate to find work or to flee the violence.

Farming communities are struggling to grow their crops on poor land. Climate change is causing more extreme weather in El Salvador with floods, droughts and tropical storms becoming more frequent. El Salvador also faces many natural hazards like earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

Read how coronavirus is affecting El Salvador

CAFOD in El Salvador

CAFOD has worked with local partners and communities in El Salvador since 1974. We are inspired by Saint Oscar Romero and his insistence on the need for peace, justice, equality and respect for human rights.

Together, we are:

  • Nurturing peace and justice. Our local partners provide legal aid, counselling for those traumatised by violence, and help people to campaign for their rights.
  • Helping farming families to grow more and better crops, raise animals and earn a better income.
  • Supporting health work in rural communities with an emphasis on mothers and babies. With the outbreak of coronavirus, this work is more important than ever. 
  • Supporting women to know their rights, develop their self-esteem and become leaders in their communities.

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