El Salvador

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New Grants

Asociación para el Desarrollo Empresarial de Productores y Comercializadores Centroamericanos (ADEPROCCA), $258,600 over three years; counterpart committed, $194,375.

ADEPROCCA will develop the leadership and organizational and technical skills of 150 residents of six municipalities in the departments of Chalatenango and San Salvador, enabling them to take advantage of opportunities to improve and market their services as tailors and shoemakers and their silk-screened items. Some 65 percent of these Salvadorans are women and 60 percent are young adults. (ES-255)

Asociación Coordinadora de Comunidades Unidas de Usulután (COMUS), $269,120 over three years; counterpart committed, $268,580.

COMUS will form a marketing network in the municipalities of San Francisco Javier, San Agustín, Jiquilisco and Ozatlán and will otherwise work to expand microbusinesses, improve the distribution of their products, develop the organizational skills of community associations and increase family income. The project is expected to benefit 442 Salvadorans directly and 2,000 indirectly. (ES-256)

Asociación Adolescente Juvenil Amigos de Apopa (AJA), $38,915 over one year; counterpart committed, $10,395.

AJA will involve residents of three communities in the municipality of Apopa, department of San Salvador, in assessing their needs and ordering their priorities, improving the organization of community development associations and formulating action plans. The project will benefit 90 Salvadorans directly and 1,380 indirectly. (ES-257)

Asociación Comunal Lenca de Guatajiagua (ACOLGUA), $178,340 over two years; counterpart committed, $137,000.

In collaboration with Comité Pro-Guatajiagua (Pro-Guatajiagua), an association of Salvadorans in Virginia, ACOLGUA will open and operate a center offering vocational instruction to young adults, including indigenous Salvadorans, and will work to refine Lenca pottery design and improve market access. The project is expected to benefit 340 Salvadorans directly and another 1,700 indirectly. (ES-258)

Asociación Cooperativa de Productores Agro-pecuarios y Aprovisionamiento La Taiwanesa (ACOAGROT), $170,590 over two years; counterpart committed, $150,280.

ACOAGROT will develop its administrative skills, generate sufficient revenue to support its activities, and provide its members training, technical assistance and capital toward improving their production of coffee, vegetables, grains and small livestock. The grant will benefit 300 Salvadorans directly and another 1,500 indirectly (ES-259)

Supplemental Grants

Asociación Comunal para el Desarrollo de la Mujer Rural (ADEMUR), $36,650 over six months; counterpart committed, $45,900.

ADEMUR and its members will improve their production of livestock and their meat- processing, packaging and marketing; will learn to produce organic fertilizer; and will craft leather items to sell. (ES-230-A3)

Asociación El Bálsamo (EL BáLSAMO), $128,950 over three years; counterpart commit- ted, $124,960.

EL BáLSAMO will improve its processing infrastructure, help Cooperativa Añil Cielo Azul produce and sell indigo-based crafts and offer other support to farmers participating in its project to revitalize the organic cultivation of indigo in Cuisnahuat, Sonsonate. (ES-238-A4)

Instituto de Investigación, Capacitación y Desarrollo de la Mujer (IMU), $80,430; counterpart committed, $46,470.

IMU will assist women in three grassroots associations in the department of Ahuachapán with replacing crops and livestock destroyed by heavy rains, mitigating the effects of climate change through more diversified production and accessing markets. (ES-239-A1)

Asociación Pro-Búsqueda de Niñas y Niños Desaparecidos (Pro-Búsqueda), $27,895 over six months; counterpart committed, $24,200.

Pro-Búsqueda will assist farmers who were separated from their families or were affected by “disappearances” as a result of the civil war, with replacing crops destroyed by heavy rains and mitigating the effects of climate change through more diversified production. (ES-245-A1)

Asociación Comunal de Mujeres de Morazán (ACMM), $10,625; counterpart committed, $1,875.

ACMM will complete its purchase of a vehicle to use for field visits and to improve access to markets for businesses and farmers. (ES-248-A1)

Native Community, Transnational Linkage

Guatajiagua, a community in the northeastern department of Morazán, boasts a strong indigenous heritage. Etymologically, its name is traceable to the Lenca term meaning “valley of tobacco.” Pottery has for centuries been vital to the local economy and working clay by hand links the people to their ancestry. While tourists are eager to purchase the crafts, most of Guatajiagua’s output ends up with intermediaries who pay these artisans a pittance for the truckloads of comales, pitchers, flowerpots and decorative ceramics destined for markets in San Miguel and San Salvador. This arrangement, which is not unique to Guatajiagua or even new, is rooted in the long pattern of marginalization that has left El Salvador’s native peoples with a serious lack of bargaining power.

Asociación Comunal Lenca de Guatajiagua (ACOLGUA) is a community-based organization dedicated to improving the lives of indigenous Salvadorans through its cultural, social and economic programs. ACOLGUA works in Calvario, a neighborhood in Guatajiagua known for its abutting earthen dwellings that shelter multi-generational families. Small patios between clusters of these homes serve as walkways, areas for drying grains and work spaces where craftspeople produce the pottery for which Calvario is known.

To help address the myriad priorities and needs, ACOLGUA has entered into a relationship with a hometown association (HTA) based in Virginia, Comité Pro-Guatajiagua (Pro-Guatajiagua), which was legally incorporated in 2002 as a nonprofit organization whose mission includes improving conditions in its members’ community of origin. Pro-Guatajiagua has channeled relief during emergencies, provided construction materials to local schools, distributed classroom supplies and supported the community’s effort to offer residents reliable access to potable water. Its collaboration with ACOLGUA evolved naturally, in part because some families in Guatajiagua are represented in both organizations. Pro-Guatajiagua members take advantage of frequent travel home to discuss ideas and follow up on the initiatives undertaken. In 2011 and 2012, representatives of ACOLGUA, Pro-Guatajiagua and the community in El Salvador explored viable options for income-generation and worked together to prioritize them.

ACOLGUA will use its IAF funding toward the preservation of Lenca culture and training in technical skills. In addition to helping indigenous artisans refine the design of their pottery and reduce their dependence on middlemen, it plans to open a center that offers young adults vocational instruction. ACOLGUA’s project should give the IAF a special opportunity to learn how Salvadoran communities and their HTAs overseas can become more adept at identifying development goals and pooling the human, natural, social and financial resources necessary to accomplish them.

—Seth Jesse, IAF representative