A lost generation…
If you have ever travelled to El Salvador, there are two things that will strike you. One is the untapped, unrestrained raw beauty of the tropical country. The other is the warmth and heart of the people, from the most humble to the highest professional. Sadly though, within this incredible land and culture lies debilitating and devastating problems that have led to the highest levels of murder, bloodshed and violence in the world.
El Salvador is geographically the smallest Central American country, with a population of around 6 million people. However, it had the highest murder rate in the world in 2015: with 104 murders per 100,000 people – over 6600 murders. Prior to this El Salvador had the highest murder rate of women in the world in 2011, and the highest child murder rate in the world in 2014.
Australia’s murder rate is 1.1 murders per 100,000 people.
El Salvador’s history has been one of unrest, which manifested in wars and revolutions. This spanned from the time of the arrival of the Spanish in 1524; through to the uprising of peasants and indigenous people in 1931 that led ultimately to their massacre, known as La Matanza; up to the more recent civil war from 1980-1989. Underlying these major events was an entrenched disparity in wealth and power of the people.
Presently, modern-day problems add further layers of complexity to this foundation. In the mid-1990’s 46,000 Salvadoran gang members or Maras, which formed on the streets of Los Angeles, were sent back to El Salvador. Other factors such as highly available firearms from the recent civil war, being geographically located in the middle of the drug trade, issues in governance and on-going social inequality have led El Salvador into the battle of its life.
This story is truly overwhelming. Trying to hold back this level of devastation seems as impossible as holding back a wave as it comes in to shore. But at Salvador’s Hope, we believe this is a country loved by God and its people, and worth fighting for despite the odds. It can seem insignificant to only give a bit, to only help a bit, to only feed one child; but we know that hope starts with one spoonful, one education class to empower a mother and one set of school books for a child to start to turn this tide.
One person, will never change the history of a nation, but one person can use what is in their hands to support another in need.
We believe that we can be part of the change that is so desperately needed in El Salvador. Make a Donation today –