Bringing Hope

El Salvador Delegation Report 2017

The CRECE 2017 Delegation fulfilled their mission, helping improve the living conditions of El Salvador’s poorest communities. Our Delegation was formed by 11 people, with activities taking place from July 27 to August 12, who had the opportunity to help five communities and one school.

During this time, two soccer tournaments were held in which 35 teams composed of young girls, young boys and adolescents participated. The first tournament was held in the community of Copapayo, municipality of Suchitoto with 25 teams. The second was held in the San Francisco community of the municipality of San Lorenzo, in this tournament 9 teams intervened. In this soccer campaign; CRECE had the honor of donating 14 uniforms for 14 teams and 30 Mikasa and Adidas soccer balls. Water was also given to people who attended the sporting events; and was sponsored with professional referees. As the day passed, we could see and feel the joy of children, youth and parents.

In the evening, a dance was organized in the Copapayó community. With this activity, people were educated on the importance of organizing and working for the community good to improve their living conditions.

CRECE develops these events with the objective of keeping the youth and adolescents in productive activities, and to motivate them to achieve a formal education; thus reducing the youth violence that affects our country all while helping prevent childhood obesity. The activities that are being developed are sought to improve the physical and mental health of the people of the communities.

Our priority in communities is the youth and adolescents, for this reason CRECE reaches out to these communities and will stay to guarantee the work directed towards the youth, hoping for great results for their sake. As part of our work, we established coordinating meetings for the creation of 2 sports teams. In order for the project to be fully developed, we garnered volunteers who will work with the sports team, and a FIFA teacher who has committed to give us their support in the necessary follow-up for the project. We are aware that in order to make this project reality we need significant financial contribution for all the equipment that is required, such as: balls, uniforms and other applicable materials. We know that it is a project that will be of great benefit to the youth of the communities.

In other communities, social, cultural and social events were held. Throughout conversations held, personal stories of the Civil War of El Salvador were described. It was poignant to hear the strong stories of veterans and veterans of war; but this was an opportunity for learning and understanding in our delegation.

We were able to donate dental brushes, dental floss, clothes, shoes, medicine and school supplies to the communities and schools. We also carried out a dental health campaign where we benefited more than 250 children and adults with dental cleaning services and application of fluoride which is “Vitamins for teeth.” This was done thanks to the voluntary work of Dr. Georgina Marroquín, Dr. Osmin Estrada, dental assistant Jaqueling de Paz and voluntary dentistry students María Marroquín and Kevin Quintanilla. It was very hard to see the need of oral help; many children did not have healthy teeth, which is due to the difficult economic situations faced by families because they are in very rural areas, who are submerged in total poverty where health centers are inaccessible due to distances and lack of financial resources to get to and receive these services.

Thanks to our volunteer Dylan Bush, who is responsible for the L.E.P.E training, member of our delegation and a student at Berkeley University, two health workshops were held for the population. The workshops were oriented towards the health issues regarding the heart and diabetes; participants were eager to receive this very important information, because rural people do not have access to this health information that affects the population so much.

These services are very vital and necessary for people living in the poorest communities of El Salvador, which is why we would like to see an expansion of these services for the July 2018 visit.

In the community of Copapayó, a talk on immigration was shared, especially regarding the relatives of people who live in the United States and who are protected by the law called TPS “Protection Act for Salvadorans”. This talk was led by Ramon Cardona, director of the Cuscatlan center, who has its offices in the city of Richmond. The population was very interested in this information.

CRECE Oakland and El Salvador, in search of funds, has developed an excursion to a tourist location in the municipality of San Jose the flower department of Chalatenango. This excursion was nice and fun as we had the opportunity to relax, share real life experiences in the communities, and discuss the lifestyle in the United States, an enjoyable moment for everyone.

During our visit to the village of Las Alas we were able to witness and enjoy the participation of the youth and adolescents who developed various artistic participations, folklorico dances, music and songs.

To add on, the community shared testimonies of their experiences of the Civil War of El Salvador. The people from this community were very nice to us and they took care of us very well; despite their economic situation they offered us food, refreshments, snacks in various diversities (coffee, bread) but above all, the joy they expressed in our visit showed their great appreciation of our work. In this community we were able to offer: Brushes, piñatas, massages by chiropractors, lottery games, donated $400 dollars to buy a corn mill in order to help ease the amount of work needed to create tortillas and pupusas. This was crucial for women of these farms as making mill is a very difficult task where women must grind the corn by hand to be able to make the tortillas for the entire family. Today they will have their community mill, in which all women and families can benefit from.

In our visit to the San Juan Los Planes School, we also offered piñatas, clowns, brushes, balls, school supplies, a discussion about oral hygiene and also fluoride the “Vitamins for teeth”. All the children who benefited come from parents with very low resources because they are settlers, “People who work for the owners of coffee farms.” These are people who dedicate their entire life to protect coffee plants, and these people are forced to perform hard work, while only earning the minimum wage of $300 a month. Many of these people have large families, being a vital reason to why they are limited to medical attention and to enjoy other benefits. We saw poor dental health in most children, and we observed very strong cases in which they have missing teeth or they are very worn out due to poor dental care. It is very difficult for us to see this situation and also see the degradation of the school roof which causes the classrooms to flood when it rains. It was sad to witness the poor health and education conditions; this experience has raised the level of inspiration and solidarity we have to work harder to help as much as we can.

During this visit to El Salvador, we were able to hold 25 meetings with religious political people as well as directors of organizations from different communities with the desire to generate more connections that can help CRECE El Salvador. While we consider it to be quite tiring, we have achieved the commitment of volunteers and people who work hard for the common good of the communities.

We were able to meet with the Archbishop of the Lutheran Church, Medardo Gomez, three deputies of the Legislative Assembly, two mayors, and a councilor. We had the opportunity to have interviews both live and written where the media publicized the projects that CRECE is accomplishing in El Salvador. We also had connections with four lawyers who committed to help in CRECE El Salvador some way.

We have been able to develop the statutes of the CRECE El Salvador organization, expecting legalization as a non-profit organization by the end of this year, but in order to achieve this we need a sum of $3,000. The director that represents us in El Salvador is confirmed. In addition, it was also possible to speak, guide, and organize 6 support committees in CRECE. These committees are the ones that will guarantee and carry out the community projects. We realized during this visit we have generated a high level of organization and motivation for the development of projects and the growth of our organization in El Salvador.

WE hope that everyone who reads this report will join us in solidarity to help foster change in the lives of these children and communities.

Throughout this visit, $7,653 was spent on donations, transportation, food, tournaments, uniforms, balls, purchase of the mill, piñatas, sweets, clowns, toiletries, extra luggages with donations, lodging, cards, CRECE flags, T-shirts for volunteers and fundraising crafts.

The financial resource was made possible through Salvadoran donors and volunteers in El Salvador who carried out fundraising events, some including selling pupusas, tamales, excursions, etc. We believe it is a large amount of money but the service we provided during this visit is the largest in the history of CRECE. Therefore, by 2018 the expenses will be higher, with the hopes we will have the same luck of supportive donors and volunteers that the children and communities need.

We invite you to come and join us in the July 2018 delegation.

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This is how CRECE arrives humbly at communities to organize social, fun, cultural and solidarity events

Purpose for the year 2018:

  1. Strengthen our connections with communities
    2. Create and generate community development projects
    3. Raise the level of organizations in communities in order to promote unity, love and pacifism
    4. Promote art and culture
    5. Promote sports
    6. Encourage children in communities to further school education
    7. Create sport programs such as football, folk dance group, and musician groups

With this we can help reduce youth violence, and ensure that our children can have a higher level of education. We will work to implement during the 2018 visit, both dental and physical health fairs for the benefit of communities that do not normally have these opportunities. We will visit in the last week of July so take note of the date if you wish to accompany us. This visit will be very important because we will be developing activities and projects that are different from the previous years.

List of necessities:

  1. Clothing
  2. Shoes
  3. Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  4. Medicine
  5. Musical Instruments
  6. School Supplies
  7. Sport Materials
  8. Cash to continue providing scholarships to our students in Salvadorian communities
  9. House and means of transport (we know this is expensive, but the need exists and any small or big donation will be much appreciated.)
  10. Facilitate medical services such as mental, physical and dental
  11. Donations of sports balls, clothes, shoes, soccer uniforms, medicine, school supplies, musical instruments of all types.
  12. Uniforms for Salvadoran folklorico and modern dance
  13. We need an office for the foundation of CRECE El Salvador and a storage unit to receive donations
  14. Computers and laptops
  15. Financial aid

We look forward to your support.

Thanks to all who helped and supported the Bringing Hope to El Salvador project. On behalf of the communities we thank you greatly.

Since 1994, the CRECE Bringing Hope Project has been organizing delegations to deliver clothing, shoes, medicine, sport materials, and school supplies, etc. to children and families in rural communities in El Salvador.

CRECE is committed to working for social justice, in solidarity with Central American people. We raise support for under served communities in El Salvador and in the United States. This year we will support the popular store in El Perico community. This support goes to assist in the community’s economic development. Our delegation is also teaming up with Salvadoran doctors to bring a health fair to the communities that we will visit. In addition, we plan to fix the ceiling of a school in the village of El Perico, to protect children from the sun when the attend classes. With our help communities benefit saving money they can use for other basic needs.

We will be staying in the communities for a cultural exchange, to learn about contemporary problems these communities face, and how we can collaborate to solve such problems. we will participate in meetings with youth that have received educational scholarships from CRECE in order to understand the challenges students in rural areas face to complete higher education in El Salvador. We will also meet with some deputies of the FMLN from the Legislative Assembly to learn about how current reforms are impacting the lives of Salvadoran citizens.   Last year, we brought donations to different communities including:

  • The Divine Providence cancer hospital in San Salvador
  • The rural community of San Jose de la Ceiva Teculuca in the department of San Vicente
  • The rural community of Rosario Maria (El Perico) in the department of Cuscutlan
  • The rural community of Los Lagartos

 The donations shown below are related to the Bringing Hope Project, and were taken as part of our Delegation to El Salvador trip made during July 2016. 

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The types of donations CRECE has given in the past year, is the same amount of items we have given for 20 consecutive years.

Funding. Approximately one thousand people benefited from our donations, with an estimated values of $40,000. Last year, we donated two printers, 200 pairs of shoes, 300 backpacks, $1,800 of medicine and medical supplies, toothbrushes, toothpaste, clothes, school supplies, beading kits, toys, and eight candy-filled piñatas.

University Scholarships. Each year, CRECE holds events around the Bay Area and asks for donations for university scholarships for two young adults in El Salvador, Approximately $125 per month pays tuition and supplies to attend university. These students will become the next generation of teachers, engineers, and social workers.

Medicine. CRECE hols medical and dental clinics and distributes basic medications in both communities led by an American doctor. Last year we recruited doctors from the Salvadoran Ministry of Health to assist.

Politics. Members of CRECE had the opportunity this year to meet with representatives of the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly to discuss domestic and international politics.

Success. The communities are able to expand their businesses and become more economically self-sustainable each year supported by the money CRECE brings. Youth are motivated to be successful. There is also cross-cultural exchange of world views and daily struggles between our delegation and the townspeople.

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Donations are collected all-year-round for this event. If you would like to give donations of clothing, shoes, school supplies, laptops, toothbrushes, toothpaste, beading kits, sports equipment, toys, backpacks or any other type of donation is welcomed. All donations and checks should be sent to

CRECE

P.O. Box 7326

Oakland, CA 94601 

CRECE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Your donations are fully tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

For more information regarding the program you can contact for

Spanish call Tulio Serrano at (510) 393-9546 or e-mail at creceoakland@sbcglobal.net

English call Lynne Wilkins at (510) 461-4982 or e-mail at programs@englishcenter.edu

Help us help others.

No matter how small the contribution may be, it can make a huge difference in someones life.

We thank you for your collaboration!

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To see more of our journey to El Salvador visit our Photo Gallery!

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