• Celebrating 20 Years of Solidarity

  • Next Election Observation Mission in 2018

  • Community building and construction in Romero Community

  • Violence Prevention through recreation

  • Language School

  • Small Businesses for Women

  • Providing Access to Clean Water

As we close yet another year of hard work, challenges, successes, advances and solidarity, we want to share our year end report with you. See below the letter from Executive Director Leslie Schuld, and to see the full report which breaks down successes and challenges of each area, you may download it here.

“Along the way of life, someone must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and evil. The greatest way to do that is through love. I believe firmly that love is a transforming power that can lift a whole community to new horizons of fair play, good-will, and justice.” - Martin Luther King Jr.

”I am not public security; I am a soldier of war. I do not bring piñatas, candy or kisses; I can only offer you bullets.”-Colonel of the Salvadoran Armed Forces.


Celebrating 10 year Anniversary Our Lady of Presentation CIS San Rafael Cedros Sister Relationship and scholarships

San Salvador, December 2017 

Dear Friends.

We want to express our gratitude for your continued support. CIS solidarity work continues to have an indelible and invaluable impact in forming Salvadorans especially women and youth to be protagonists for positive change.   CIS communities put into practice what they learn about human rights, a culture of peace, gender equality and respect for the environment side by side as they develop tools to survive and weave social fabric in their communities through organizing educational, economic and cultural opportunities.

We have much to celebrate from our collective accomplishments this year:

  • 98 students graduating from CIS formation and scholarship program:  13 University and 85 from High school
  • Advancement and consolidation of women’s business and a new ice cream business employing 14 women in Tamanique.
  • Dozens educated in Spanish and English as a second language, Gender Studies and Environmental  formation.
  • CIS safely hosted 17 delegations in El Salvador building solidarity relationships accompanying youth, environment, health, women, and economic initiatives.

Our solidarity work is not only forming individuals and friendships, it is weaving the social fabric of communities.  This is critical on its own; but takes an even new importance given the U.S. administrations threats to deport and cancel legal status for over 200,000 Salvadorans who have been protected under TPS (Temporary Protected Status) since 2001 and DACA for young people who came as minors and are studying and working. 

We want to express our grave concern for the deportation of Salvadorans who have built their families in the U.S., own businesses, make up an important part of the working class, pay taxes and social security, have bought homes and have made their life.   They will come back to a country that is over populated, has 47% rate of unemployment, where violence has taken over some of their communities and they will return to conditions worse than when they left putting lives at risk.  Deportation will also have a negative impact on the U.S. economy where over 80% pay taxes and contribute to social security as well as take jobs that most U.S. nationals do not want – heavy construction, picking crops, janitorial work, and restaurant work.  Two members of the CIS family have lost their sons in dangerous construction jobs in the U.S.  And history has shown that breaking up families creates violence and instability in the U.S. and in El Salvador. 

CIS programs have been affected by the violence in El Salvador – we mourn the assassination of one of our scholarship students, Jose Ignacio Arias Arias and five members of his family from Estanzuelas in what appears to be the work of officials and death squads.  The Azules of Titihuapa also had to suspend their cultivation and production of indigo because of gang violence in San Isidro.  But compared to the prevention of violence through community organizing, formation and creation of economic, educational and cultural opportunities the positive impact far outweighs these setbacks. 

We want to ask for your support and solidarity action to build solidarity and accompany the building of community as alternatives to migration and violence:

1.  Make a contribution to our General Scholarship Fund so we can pay CIS promoters to do organizational and formation work, carry out our annual retreat, and guarantee that all the students currently on scholarship continue to study and open up more opportunities to go to university. 

2.   Join the CIS Election Observer and Human Rights Delegation February 26 – March 6, 2018.  In addition to being trained to playing a pivotal role in election observation, the delegation will learn about the roots of migration and violence and  women’s rights including visiting women who have been condemned to harsh prison terms for having a miscarriage.   The cost of the delegation is between $700 - $900, depending if you want a shared or single room.   Please write us at:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.   If you can’t join the Mission, please consider giving a donation to cover press conferences, candidate’s forum, publishing the final report, and organizational support.  No gift is too large or too small.

We look forward to hearing from you.   Blessings and Solidarity,

Leslie Schuld, Leslie Schuld, CIS Director and Los Olivos CIS Representative in El Salvador

CIS Board of Directors: Mario Arévalo, Delmy Valencia, Eugenio Chicas, Wilfredo Medrano, Ana Aviles, Lisandra Soriano,  Carmen Acevedo, Verónica Arévalo, Manuel Batres.
Los Olivos CIS Board of Directors:  Mimi Jordan, Robyn Smith, Gary Ellis, Mary Frances Ross, Sara Mulrooney, Rosemary Biggins, Mike Tork, Steve Boyer, Susan Mull, Ed Osowski. 
CIS and Los Olivos CIS staff: Bellini Castro,  Oscar García, Joel Palacios, Vicenta Martínez,  Wilmer Erroa, Arturo Severo, Maira Romero, Delmy Linarez, Noemí Torres, Yessenia Flores, Luis Aguillón, Yeny Giron, Josue Duran,  Iris Hernandez,  Leonor del Carmen Huezo, Esmeralda Reyes, and Evelyn Portillo.



In November, the Canadian organization Rainbowof Hope for Children came with our delegations program to visit their projects, building community and solidarity.  Canadians who would like tax deductable receipts can donate through them.  The newsletter is full of interesting information about their visit and CIS supported programs.  Please take a few minutes to read.  Download it here

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Click here

 for the 2018 Solidarity Crafts Product Catalogue!

Write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

for more details or to make an order.

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If you need orders for December, please do your best

 to get us your order asap, so that we can ensure shipment by the

date requested.