Salvadorans abroad in solidarity with their country

By Anayansi Rivas

Is about “Friends of San José USA-Canada”, founded in June 2019 by a group of young Salvadorans who are supporting rural communities in their native Chalatenango, north of El Salvador.

The young chalatecos, residents of the United States and Canada, They are helping families in extreme poverty in the San José Las Mesitas Canton and areas surrounding the departmental capital.

Chalatenango was hit hard by the armed conflict, and now it is known for being a quiet municipality, tourist, and was the last department to register COVID-19 infections in El Salvador.

We communicate with Rubel Salazar, one of the management members of the group, who tells us that he was born and raised in the San José Las Mesitas Canton and now resides in Massachusetts. Its objective is to help those most in need, especially in these critical moments that are experienced worldwide by the coronavirus pandemic.

The group's most recent activity was bringing food to families in low-income rural areas. There are neighborhoods where there is no road to get to those homes.. Young volunteers walked miles through cobblestone streets, dusty or sidewalks to fulfill its purpose.

The coronavirus pandemic is hitting all families hard. In this sense, for this May, they have planned deliver more packages of groceries.

All the members of the group play a very important role, and they know first-hand the needs of families in rural areas of their community.

This grouping started with 9 members in different countries and states, each one plays a very important role. To date they have 20 team members.

The way they collect money for the noble cause is by donating a monthly amount of their wages. "This is non-profit, we do not receive any help from institutions, but each month we are pending to make the corresponding deposit. Until now, we have not missed ”, Salazar emphasized.

They have representatives in Chalatenango, and for this reason they formed another board of directors in San José Las Mesitas, from the northern department, in order to best meet some needs of low-income families.

Alejandro Ibáñez, who serves as president of the group in the San José canton, is responsible for organizing all events together with its collaborators.

The representative of the group is concerned with finding young volunteers from the same community, to keep them entertained, since it is symbolic what they are collecting. They emphasize that they do not want to accustom young people to sending remittances. This aid is only to cover some needs of families that need it most.

Another key member of the board of directors is Amílcar Romero, who resides in Texas, and explains part of what they are doing for the community. “In September 2019, it was the first activity, We bring joy to the youth of San José Las Mesitas, and surrounding areas with a soccer tournament. In that occasion, we sponsor them sports uniforms and prizes to the first places”, he commented.

In December, They prepared a Christmas party for all the children of the hamlets and cantons, with piñatas, food, clowns and toys.

They also provide medical help to patients who need it most and help with maintenance of a soccer field. All this is so that young people participate in activities with the community and are not involved in gangs..

Bring joy to so many families, it is a pride for them. That motivates them to do more activities. Now, call on other young people abroad to join this noble cause.

You can find them on Facebook as Friends of San José USA- Glen. Tel.: (209)809-6669.