Even though the State of El Salvador won the case against the mining company, Oceana Gold, the struggle of the Salvadoran people for the defense of land and territory continues. As a way to pressure the Salvadoran government to implement a law definnitively banning mining in El Salvador, social movements together with organized communities are organizing to bring community consultations. For instance, the first three Consultations took place in 2014 in San José Las Flores, San Isidro Labrador, and Nueva Trinidad; then in 2015, Arcatao hold the fourth community Consultation. These four Community Consultations were in the department of Chalatenanngo. This year 2017, the fifth Consultation will take place in the historic municipality of Cinquera in the Department of Cabañas in February 26th .

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The Church of the historic town of Cinquera. Cinquera was completely destroyed during the war by the armed forces.

 

 

The town councils and CRIPDES (Association for the Development of El Salvador), the organizers of the consultations, have emphasized the importance of international observers´ participation in these consultations in order to lend greater legitimacy and recognition of the process in anticipation of pushback from transnational companies. Electoral observation has been an important component of international solidarity work for decades, exercising in both a symbolic and concrete way the accompaniment of the international community with the pueblo of El Salvador, and calling broader attention to cases of injustice.

US-El Salvador Sister Cities invite you to become an International Observer during this important event for the people of Cinquera and the rest of municipalities that are in resistance to mining projects in El Salvador. Prior to the Community Consultation, we will provide a week full of activities to broader the knowledge of participants. The Mining Delegation aims to provide a condensed, immersive understanding of the mining struggle and better social context by visiting a former mine site, the site that was at stake in the $301 million dollar lawsuit, and organize communities in resistance to future mining projects.

 

Please take a look to the itinerary for the Mining Delegation 

February 19th / ARRIVAL DAY

  • Travel to and arrival at El Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Romero International Airport
  • Pick up and travel to San Salvador and brief introduction/orientation by SalvAide/CRIPDES/Sister Cities Representative

Monday, February 20th / DAY 1

8:00AM -            Breakfast in San Salvador 

9:00AM -            Visit to the University of El Salvador

  • Brief tour of the University, El Salvador’s only public university and an historic incubator of critical thought and intellectual/student opposition and organizing
  • Discussion with a university professor about the socio economic history of El Salvador.  

12:00Noon -     Lunch at San Salvador’s volcano

1:00PM -            Visit and short hike to El Boquerón National Park (San Salvador Volcano) 

3:00PM -            Visit Joya de Cerén Mayan ruins in La Libertad province (UNESCO World Heritage Site, Late Classic Period Zapotitán Valley Mayan village preserved by volcanic ashes)

5:00PM -            Travel back to Guesthouse in San Salvador   

Tuesday, February 21st / DAY 2

7:00AM -            Breakfast at Guesthouse 

9:00AM -            Visit with human rights NGO Pro-Búsqueda:

  • Workshop about the disappeared and the legacy of the civil war in El Salvador

12:00Noon -     Beach day at Atami Resort for lunch and relaxation with a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. 

5:00PM -            Return to the guest house

Wednesday, February 22nd / DAY 3 

7:00AM -            Breakfast at guest house

8:30AM -            Departure to Lower Lempa region

9:30AM -            Tour through CORDES Bajo Lempa regional complex which includes a women’s dairy cooperative, a youth cooperative eco-water-filter factory, an organic agricultural products laboratory, and a credit union

10:30AM -          Discussion on the impacts of sugar cane plantations on the environment and the population of the Lower Lempa and efforts of local organizations to foster sustainable development practices 

12:00Noon -     Lunch

1:00PM -            Tour to communities affected by sugar cane plantations and informal chat with community leaders 

3:00PM -            Travel to Tehuacan eco-park and hike through the parks trails

5.00PM -             Dinner and stay at Tehuacan’s cabins

Thursday, February 23rd / Day 4

7:00AM -            Breakfast at Tehuacan eco-park

8:00AM -            Leave for Santa Rosa de Lima

11:30AM -          Light lunch in Santa Rosa de Lima

12:30PM -          Arrive in San Sebastian mine 

  • Hike through mine abandoned by US commerce group mining 
  • Talk with community leaders about the impacts of mining in their community and the efforts to rehabilitate their communities  

3:00PM -            Leave for Cabañas

6:30PM -            Dinner and talk with board members of the Association for Development of El Salvador, ADES

Friday, February 24th / Day 5

8:00AM -            Breakfast at ADES   

9:00AM-             Discussion about the impact of Canadian mining companies in El Salvador with emphasis on OceanaGold/Pacific Rim’s case against the government of El Salvador      

12:00Noon -     Lunch at community of La Maraña 

1.00PM -             Discussion with community leaders on mining companies and the violation of human rights

3:00PM -            Travel to Cinquera

6:00PM -            Dinner and chat with local mayor and other political leaders

Saturday, February 25th / Day 6

7:00AM -            Breakfast  

8:00AM -            Hike to Cinquera ecological park and guided tour of a civil war conflict zone  

12:00Noon -     Lunch  

  • Brief discussions on Sumpul River massacre in 1981 the legacy of the civil war. 

1.00PM -             Talk with local anti-mining leaders about the territories free of mining campaign    

3:00PM -            Training for international observers  

6:00PM -            Dinner and cultural night 

Sunday, February 26th / Day 7 

All day participation as international observer local at community referendum

6:30AM -            Meet at the Alcaldia to be distributed to voting sites

7am-4pm -        Observation of Community Consultations

4:00PM -            Observers gather in the town hall to share observations

5:00PM -            Announce preliminary results and make observer statement

6:00PM -            Travel back to San Salvador

7:30PM -            Dinner at the guest house

Monday, February 27th / Day 8

AM-                       Delegate departures

7:00AM -            Breakfast at the hotel

8:30AM -            Press Conference in San Salvador

10:00AM-           Evaluation time

PM-                       Possible delegate departures

 

Delegation Costs

In-country expenses*:                                      $550.00

Coordination Fee** :                                        $250.00

Total Delegate Cost:                                      $800.00

*This amount is to be brought in cash to El Salvador in small denominations of $20 or $10

**This amount is to be mailed to US El Salvador Sister Cities or USESSC prior to the delegation at PO Box 632451, Nacogdoches, TX 75963 Phone: (805) 421-9708

For more information contact us: sistercities.elsalvador@gmailcom