Sunday, March 27, 2011
1. We are discussing the possibility of staying in San Jose Las Flores for up to ten days. We feel that this will give the group and the community even a better opportunity to forge the partnerships which are such an important part of this experience.
2. We are also looking into the possibility of staying with individual families. This will for sure allow us greater opportunities to get to know what life is like for rural Salvadorans.
3. We are working on getting a better idea of the capacity of the computers in the schools. We know there is no internet, but do the computers have the capacity to run software that we use in some of our schools? If so, this may allow us to run a least one interesting workshop with the students.
We are now waiting for answers to some of these questions.
communal kitchen in San Jose Las Flores
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Sunday, March 13, 2011
The center of our trip this summer will be the community of San Jose Las Flores. We will be spending up to ten days in the community. This will be a very different trip than in past years.
In the future, I hope to connect Compadres to an additional qualification teacher program at St. Paul University. We have started work on this, but there will not be time this year to develop the credit. The people at the university and school board have been wonderful and I think we now have the basis for a wonderful partnership for the future. Linking additional qualification credit up to programs like Compadres makes good sense. These partnerships allow teachers to gain credit while interacting with teachers and professionals in El Salvador. I am hoping that we will be able to arrange something similar through Teachers Without Borders for our partners in El Salvador.
Monday, March 7, 2011
[We] will endeavor to use this submission to make sure that the Tribunal understands that: (A) the grassroots, peaceful opposition to Pac Rim‟s proposed mine—and the government‟s response to it—were and are entirely legitimate and should be celebrated as a new dawn for representative democracy in El Salvador, not saddled with a hundred-million-dollar price tag; (B) the environmental concerns underlying that opposition were, and are, well-founded, but were not adequately addressed in Pac Rim‟s Environmental Impact Assessment (the “El Dorado EIA”); and (C) Pac Rim‟s involvement in Salvadoran and regional politics in support of its proposed mine has been deeply problematic, and the proposed mine itself has already generated disturbing levels of intra-community conflict and violence.
You can download the full brief here. The brief makes the argument well that arbitrations under trade agreements should not be allowed to overturn a country's right to develop environmental policy to protect its citizens. A listing of all court filings in the case is maintained by the government of El Salvador at this link.
Friday, March 4, 2011
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Last night, I met with members of Ascorcan - a local group of Salvadorans very involved in the Canadian Salvadoran community.Laura Avalos is the coordinator for the group. I have been to several events organized by the group including a screening of Jamie Moffett's film Return To El Salvador. Last night, we had an amazing meeting where two of Ascorcan's members shared their vast experience on organizing delegations. Their advice was invaluable and I really look forward to working more closely with the group in the future.
Here are some of their ideas
- consider staying in one community (San Jose Las Flores for us) for as long as ten days - people need to get to know the group and this takes time.
- you are building a long-term relationship - take your time, it will be worth it!
- consider home stays - this is a wonderful way to learn more Spanish and to really get to know the people.
- look for ways to integrate participants into the popular education system that already exists. Our local partner - CDC is considered by Ascorcan to be terrific in facilitating this type of work.
All to say - a terrific meeting and great new resources for Compadres!