Sunday, December 13, 2009
a lot more corruption :( but a lot more solidarity :)
(photo 3 is Uca student sara garcia helping unload packages for la bomba, santo tomas. first aid package three weeks after the storm; photo 2 is a child outside a shelter in santa cruz la vega, san francisco chinamequita; photo 1 is a child receiving a whole chicken for his family (casa program had leftover we got to donate!!). i could not get a good look at his faced because he couldnt stop smelling the chicken he was SO excited)
sorry that it has been so long since the last post! I have been trying to wait until we gather needed evidence to document corruption- thus details will remain fuzzy.
However, we have evidence that the mayor's office has only been helping families that vote for the conservative political party. the most dire communities are deliberately left out of the municipal aid process, which unfortunately, is how to get access to tons of international aid. community leaders have been downright turned down for help. to make matters even more political, the mayor's office is labeling medicine bottle donations with stickers representing the political party. politizicing aid and discrimination based on religious and political preference is a human rights violations. the community leaders and developing a press release and organizing to go through legal processes to denounce this.
in addition, the priest of our parroquia was caught pretty red handed last week when caritas when to the communities to check a few id #s on his aid list. As it turns out, the names and #s on the list are...fake. these people do not exist. rumor and history tell me that he was expecting to distribute the aid himself, and thus have control to sell it (other allegations include the priest recently selling school supply donations). however, caritas figured out the scheme, and let us include more families on the World Food Program 30-day food program. We are very anxiously awaiting this aid that finally comes THIS WEEK! woo hoo!
I also want to report the awesome solidarity snippits of the past week:
First, thanks to brebeuf jesuit for skypeing myself and mercedes last week! She LOVED it and was telling community members ALL DAY how cool it was to see so many supportive faces. She especially loved the question about why she was upset at the catholic church...really both for me and for her it was an awesome infusion of solidarity energy. any other school/group of people who would like to skype me and mercedes is totally welcome- i translate and you get to ask questions live!
We really like being overwhelmed with solidarity.
The best tho, was friday night, when me and 2 UCA students (sara and Karla, Sara pictured above) and mercedes whole families (grandma and grandpa too) prepared over 100 aid packages because....
this NGO called circulo solidario dropped off aid in Santa Maria, which is on the world food program list. So instead of taking the aid (though it came before the world food program), the community voted to GIVE IT AWAY to other communities not on the world food program list. amazing. when those affected by the disaster give the little they have- and believe you me this was nearly everything they had for some families- to other disaster affected communities just a smidgen worse off...that kind of solidarity will make you cry in amazement at how beautiful and selfless humans can really be-if they choose.
Thus, I am supplementing the aid packages with your donations (mostly oil and sugar we lack) and going back out tommorrow with several salvadoran volunteers (jonathan and marvin) to deliver solidarity packages from victim of disaster to victim of disaster.
Finally, i want to report that our lil advisory group that has been meeting in san salvador weekly is trying to expand therapy, food security, and community organization. unfortunately, replanting and fixing crops for the next year costs $500 per farmer!!! meaning we can only help a small group- we are trying to get creative with how to cut costs tho...
reconstruction is really really expensive. but as we know, teaching people to fish is way more valuable than continueing to drop off fish in the community. teaching is just quite exepensive, and its hard for me to accept that we cannout help every one (1000 famlies) rebuild. we can help maybe 20 rebuild crops at this point.
sigh. we will do everything we can with the resource we have, and do it well. oscar romero always said that "we cannot do everything. and there is liberation in knowing that. but we can do one thing, and we can do it well."
Thanks to all of you for accompanying the pueblo of Santiago Texacuangos. as well as me and the other volunteers on this project (special word-up to danielle mackey, laura hershberger, cesar, jonathan velasquez, sara garcia, sam baker, and anne schafele whose help, free labor, sweat, and tears, has been ESSENTIAL on the ground in constant attention to this project).
we still need your energy, money, and prayers. any combination of those three will do. or just prayer even. we are pulling off quite the women led revolution in santiago texacuangos- which i am convinced is thanks to your positive energy. Salud Pues!