Tuesday, March 22, 2016
We have received a lot of news lately from El Salvador. Some of it concerns the state of the country and also news from our project partners of public school improvements and our agriculture projects.
We subscribe to the Famine Early Warning Network operated by USAID. We were introduced to this network by our friends of Oikos Solidaridad. It monitors worldwide weather and harvest conditions in order to alert for possible famine conditions. El Salvador is currently importing corn from the United States and Mexico and its supply of rice is the lowest in many years. These imports have kept the prices of these staples at historic rates in the local markets.
But even with the current level of imports, FEWNET predicts that Central America will be in crisis by July 2016 due to the change of weather (rain) caused by El Nino resulting in a poor harvest. While the El Nino climate effect is diminishing, the effect on the food supply can’t and won’t change until the 2016/2017 planting and harvest.
The new 9th grade is now operational in our current school project. School resumed on January 18. The first day of school was like a festival. Families came to see the many improvements and anticipate the future science lab from FEPADE. Classroom space is now limited and the school is over- crowded.
One of our students from this school was having pupusas at a local roadside vender when shots rang out. She was next to a man who was targeted and she also became a victim. Yoselin took a bullet to the neck, destroying her windpipe. A prosthesis was inserted for her to breathe on her own and a tube is inserted into her stomach for feeding. She will not be able to talk for several years.
We saw a picture of her last week and she has lost a lot of weight and is very fragile. We pray that her family can provide the appropriate supplement that will help Yoselin regain her body mass and strength.
Projects in the east:
· Our older students who attend the Technical Institute in Usulután and San Miguel have also returned for their 3rd semester. The holiday break was good for them as they are getting stressed at the work load at school and at home.
· Additional news on the agriculture projects indicates a good harvest is benefiting our participants in the projects. Earlier in the planting season, the rains did not come and early plants were lost. But with replanting and training offered by our partners, newer technology (greenhouses) overcame these early obstacles, resulting in abundant harvest.
Unfortunately these agriculture improvements are isolated to a small group of families, totaling fewer than 1,000 residents having connections to the churches in the east. We are trying to stretch our thinking as to how to provide ongoing training in other zones of El Salvador to overcome the famine crisis that occurs too often.
David y Nancy