About Us

 

The U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities Network is a grass-roots organization of people living in the U.S. who have ongoing partnerships with small rural communities in El Salvador.  Those partnerships began in 1986 as a citizen-based response to the U.S. intervention in El Salvador’s civil war.  Today, seventeen sister cities from across the United States are paired with Salvadoran communities in six of El Salvador’s fourteen provinces through our sister organization, the Association for the Development of El Salvador, CRIPDES.

Sister Cities works to connect and strengthen movements for social justice in the U.S. and El Salvador by sharing accompaniment, experiences and advocacy.  We strive to build a new kind of globalization, one built from the ground up and united by human values of justice and solidarity.

Sister Cities Programs:

  

Sister Cities History

**Click here to watch Hope, Faith and Revolution, a short documentary about the beginnings of U.S.- El Salvador Sister Cities.**

During the US Government backed Salvadoran Civil War in the 1980´s which left more than 70,000 dead, Sister Cities joined the repopulation work of CRIPDES (then the Christian Committee for the Displaced), morally and physically accompanying communities as they returned home from refugee camps in Honduras and other regions of El Salvador to communities still threatened and persecuted by the Salvadoran military.

With the signing of the Peace Accords in 1992, Sister Cities accompanied the Salvadoran organized communities of CRIPDES in the process of democratization and reconstruction of their country for a peaceful future, implementing and protecting the political gains granted by the Peace Accord agreements. 

In more recent years, Sister Cities has responded to natural disasters that have devastated El Salvador, such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and the devastating earthquakes of 2001. 

In 2003-2004, Sister Cities brought people concerned about Free Trade policy together with Salvadoran communities in denouncing exclusive Free Trade Agreements such as CAFTA and played an active role in the Stop-CAFTA Coalition, which continues to monitor and report on the effects of CAFTA in Central America and the United States (www.stopcafta.org). 

In 2005, communities in the northern province of Chalatenango began organizing against the threat to community lands, resources, and health posed by newly arrived Canadian, US, and Australian gold mining companies.  Sister Cities began advocating for and working in solidarity to support the communities in their right to self-determination in the face of international gold mining interests.

Since last July 2007, Sister Cities has effectively advocated for the human rights of social movement leaders accused of terrorism by the Salvadoran Government for peaceful protest, working in solidarity with CRIPDES and the broader Salvadoran social movement to reverse the serious human rights violations committed in the case of the "Suchitoto 14". 

Today, Sister Cities is made up of 17 Sister City projects and many individuals across the country who carry out our ongoing work for justice, dignity and self-determination through physical, moral, and political accompaniment.

 

USESSC Board of Directors

US-El Salvador Sister Cities is a grassroots organization with a very small staff and a very large team of volunteers. The Board of Directors is a group of volunteers who see to the steering, financial decision-making, staff support, and strategizing for the national network by participating in monthly board conference calls. Board members represent a variety of sistering committees and National Members. Each year the board meets in person in the Spring, visiting the city of one of the board members, and then again in the Fall immediately following our National Gathering. The National Gathering is just what it says -- a gathering of representatives from our entire national network in one place to get updates, share new ideas, and come up with strategies for building solidarity. 

 

The members of the current Board of Directors are:

Carol Murray -- President

   Philadelphia, PA

   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jeff Baker -- Secretary

   Austin, TX

Willie Marquart -- Treasurer

   WERU Community Radio, ME

Katherine Kates

   Bangor, ME

Ann Legg 

   Crystal Lake, IL

Delia Landers

   Philadelphia, PA

Jerry Pendergast

   Chicago, IL

Molly Todd

   National Member, Montana

Alexandra Early

   Cambridge and Arlington, MA

Leigh Hardy

   Cambridge, MA

Nicole Shorthouse

    Los Angeles, CA

Marc Rosenthal

    Madison, WI

 

 

Since the 1980´s, Sister Cities has built people-to-people solidarity relationships between the United States and El Salvador.  These relationships are the core of our work and the foundation upon which we work for human rights, social justice, and cultural exchange.  This important work only happens through hundreds of dedicated volunteers in cities around the United States who maintain “sister city” relationships with Salvadoran communities.  Below you will find a current list of our member sister city projects.

Arlington-Teosinte Sister City Project
Arlington, Massachusetts--officially founded in September of 1988, contact Beth Soltzberg This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

 
Austin-Guajoyo Sister City Project
Austin, Texas—contact Jeff Baker This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Check out the blog of Austin's volunteer living in Guajoyo- austinelsalvador.wordpress.com/

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Bangor-Carasque Sister City Project
Bangor, Maine—Officially founded in 1991, currently a project of Peace through Ineramerican Community Action, PICA, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Binghamton-El Charcon Sister City Project
Binghamton, New York—Founded in 1992, contact Suzanne Geoghegan This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it


Cambridge-San José Las
Flores Sister City Project
Cambridge, Massachusetts—Founded in June of 1986, contact Jim Wallace This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .  


Chicago-Cinquera Sister City Project
Chicago, Illinois—contact Sheila Brady This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Concord-Agua Caliente Sister City Project
Concord, New Hampshire—contact Alice Picket  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Wichita-La Bermuda Sister City Project
Wichita, Kansas—A project of FOCUS (Friends of Cuscatlan), contact Pat Ciotti  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Friends of Chilama

Crystal Lake, Illinois—contact Libby Papalardo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Lawrence-El Papaturro Friendship Committee
Lawrence, Kansas—Contact Rosina Aguirre This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

Madison-Arcatao Sister City Project
Madison, Wisconsin—Founded in 1986, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
MOFGA-CCR and CORDES Sistering Project
Maine—Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association maintains a relationship with the Association of Communities for the Development of Chalatenango (CCR), and the Foundation for Cooperation and  Development (CORDES).  Contact Karen Volckhausen  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Manhattan-El Papaturro Sister City Project
Manhattan, Kansas—A project of the Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice (MAPJ) since 1995, contact Anne Cowan  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Philadelphia-Las Anonas de Santa Cruz Sister City Project
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—Founded in 1991.  contact Joan Brooks This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 
Watertown-Nueva Esperanza Sister City Project
Watertown, Massachusetts—contact Susan Klaw  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it .


WERU Radio-Radio Sumpul Sister Stations
Blue Hill, Maine—Founded in 2003 as a relationship between community radio stations in Maine and El Salvador, contact Meredith Defrancesco  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..