History

The CIS was founded in 1993 after the signing of the Peace Accords in El Salvador. Solidarity groups from the U.S., Canada, and Europe came together with Salvadoran popular organizations to develop a center to promote people-to-people relations after the war. The root causes of the war - economic and social injustice together with a lack of democratic openings to make change - were still present. It was agreed that continued international accompaniment and solidarity with grassroots movements for social and economic justice and participatory democracy would be needed to achieve structural changes in the post war period.

Mission

To promote solidarity and cultural exchange across borders between the Salvadoran people and other peoples of the world to foment a culture of solidarity that implies accompaniment, respect for diversity, relationships based on equality and mutual support between people, with the objective of raising awareness, organizing and mobilizing grassroots efforts for justice and dignity.

Vision 

To be a sustainable institution that promotes ties of solidarity between international and national communities, strengthen social organization, promote human development and contribute to the transformation of the Salvadoran society.

Objectives

  • Promote people-to-people solidarity in the search for development and human dignity.
  • Promote human values and cultural exchange with individuals, delegations, representatives of private organizations, and government officials in order to strengthen solidarity and understanding of Salvadoran history and culture.
  • Strengthen community and integrated development programs.
  • Encourage the development and commercialization of Salvadoran crafts made by cooperatives, especially by youth, women, and ex-combatants.
  • Deepen awareness and promote the defense of human rights in El Salvador.

Institutional Values

 The values that the organization commits to promote, integrate into the work and model are the following: 

  • Solidarity: It’s when two or more people get together for a common cause in the search of social and economic justice, and human rights without expecting anything in return. Solidarity is characterized by a horizontal relation of two tracks, where exist mutual respect and joint participation in the construction of a more just society.
  • Social and economic justice: It’s a state or condition where is produced an equitable distribution of the economic and social goods produced by a particular society that search to overcome the gap between rich and poor. It’s based on equal opportunities and human rights.  
  • Mutual Respect: It’s a special consideration for the intrinsic value that all human beings possess and has a reciprocal nature. Mutual respect is based on the value for human dignity. 
  • Accompaniment: It’s the attitude and availability to be with people who are in need in their processes of development, social and human growth and self-determination. 
  • Empowerment:  CIS actions are not conceived from assitentialist categories. Rather, it is based on the acquisition of power and independence of social groups we work with, so they can struggle and solve their own problems.