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In El Salvador's most northwest region is a small, charming farming village brought to life by its white-washed adobe houses, distinct culture, and expansive views of a valley below. Perhaps the only thing exceeding its true natural beauty are its people – hard-working, motivated, and unbelievably generous in spite of all the odds that seem to be against them. With little to no education and only the most basic healthcare, the community struggles to complete day to day tasks but still manages to pull together for the betterment of their lives.
The village’s vision for a better community is unique, and the village has an overabundance of manpower and ingenuity. For the past year, it has been working hard to bring to the town a casa comunal – a community center. In a country where the preservation of culture is so important, a lack of a space where cultural events can take place has a debilitating effect on a community. Weddings, funerals, quinceñeras, local elections, and community meetings are all communal rites of passage that as of now, residents must export to other towns or simply forego altogether. Furthermore, without a place to hold community meetings it is very hard to run a town council, or ADESCO meeting. This is extremely important because the ADESCO are the roots that hold the community together in terms of community development, organization and implementation of projects. However, with this community center, community development would be more easily facilitated with a communal place to hold all types of meetings necessary in the village.
The people of this village have already made remarkable headway into this project. Land for the community center has been donated, blueprints have been drawn up, and enough community members have offered their help in the construction that labor will virtually be free of charge. Moreover, almost 500 dollars has already been raised through bake sales, soccer tournaments, and movie nights, which have all been organized and executed by the youth. Unfortunately, this is as far as the village can come to realizing their goal before they are stifled by the surmounting costs of building materials and a lack of in-country help.
Note: This summary was provided by a Peace Corps Volunteer and the community administering this project.
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