USESSC E-Bulletin, May 29 2007

USESSC E-Bulletin
US-El Salvador Sister Cities E-Bulletin
May 29, 2007            Issue #1 Vol. 1



    Dear Friends,
    Welcome to the first-ever edition of the Sister Cities E-Bulletin.

    We are happy to have this up and running at long last. It will continue to be published twice per month to share news, announcements and calls to action among members of the Sister Cities Network and our ally organizations. Each short article is linked to a webpage or email address so you can find out more. To suggest a news item for a future edition, drop an email to sistercities@gmail.com. Happy reading!

    Sincerely,
    Emily Carpenter
    In the U.S. office.


In This Issue:

- Take Action: Say "No Deal" to the Democrats on Trade and Immigration
- Cambridge and San José Las Flores Celebrate 20 Years of Sistering
- Join us for a Delegation in September
- Read the latest updates


Action: Say"No Deal" to the Democrats on Trade and Immigration

        In March, El Salvador marked one year since the implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). The livelihoods of small farmers and street vendors have been drastically affected, adding to the estimated 500 Salvadorans per day who leave their country and their families to seek work in the United States. In the meantime, over the past few weeks Democratic congressional leaders have announced so-called "deals" with the White House on immigration and trade. While these may be good for big business, the proposals will deal a sharp blow to workers, immigrants and the environment. Take action now! Call your representative and Senators now and say: "No deal on trade and immigration. We demand justice for workers, immigrants and the environment in the U.S. and Latin America."

Call your representative and Senators by dialing the capital switchboard: (202) 224-3121
Find talking points and further information on the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee site, http://pcasc.net/nodeal/.

Take further action! Join Sister Cities, the Quixote Center, the Alliance for Responsible Trade, and others in signing on to an ad to be printed in the New York Times against Fast Track authority, which would help Bush pass more bad trade agreements: http://www.notofasttrack.org/.

Cambridge and San José Las Flores Celebrate 20 Years of Sistering

        In June of 1986, 26 families from San José Las Flores, Chalatenango, left Calle Real refugee camp in San Salvador and traveled for three days to re-establish their community in the heavily militarized mountains to the north. This month, seven delegates from Las Flores took a different sort of journey: they traveled north to Cambridge, Massachusetts to celebrate the joys and accomplishments that the two cities have shared in twenty years of sistering.

The delegates and their hosts filled their days with events in Cambridge and Boston. They were warmly welcomed everywhere from the Amigos bilingual school, to the Cambridge Womens' Commission, to the offices of State Rep. Alice Wolf and State Senator Jarrett Barrios. At public events and on local radio programs (listen to it here!) they shared "A Report from Las Flores", where they spoke of the history of San José Las Flores, the current situation in Chalatenango, and the Canadian gold mining companies who threaten to rob the communities' land and poison their water supplies. Throughout the delegation, people signed postcards reminding the CEO of Tribune Resources Corporation (the Canadian gold exploration company with interests in Chalatenango) that his company's operations will not be accepted in the region.

The renewed threat to San José Las Flores of gold mining shows that the struggle of the rural communities for justice and dignity continues, and the role of international solidarity and mutual exchange is as important as ever. We look forward together to the accomplishments and gains of the next twenty years, as we congratulate Cambridge and San José Las Flores on their sistering anniversary.

Read more and see photos here.

Join us for a Delegation in September!

        Friends of the U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities Network,

        You are invited to join an upcoming Sister Cities delegation!

Itching to get back to El Salvador? Wanting to visit for the first time? Missing the warm welcome of your sister community and the dynamic grassroots organizing experience of CRIPDES?

Sister Cities organizes 2 trips per year for interested individuals to visit El Salvador on an 8 day delegation experience. The next one is from September 8 to 16, 2007... so clear out your calendar.

The trip is made possible and made unique by Sister Cities' two decades of solidarity with the rural communities of CRIPDES, the largest peasants' movement in the country. The program includes visits and discussion with CRIPDES organizers and national leaders, as well as with other groups that dedicate their work to halting human rights violations, carrying forth Salvadoran liberation theology, and creating new, fair economic alternatives for the rural communities. We will also travel to the countryside to visit the organized communities, hear their stories of struggle and resistance, and continue to build and strengthen the solidarity relationships that have flourished for so long.

For costs and schedules, contact sistercities@telesal.net. Trip dates are somewhat flexible, so write to us even if you can't miss that big event back home on the 15th.



Read the Latest

Visit Sister Cities' new website for recent updates and information: www.elsalvadorsolidarity.org

Recently posted:
Central American Countries Protest Canadian Government's Role in Mining, May 21, 2007
Haymarket, McArthur Park, and the Silence that Still Speaks, May 1, 2007


The Sister Cities E-Bulletin is published the second and fourth Monday of every month. Send your suggestions for future E-Bulletin articles to sistercities@gmail.com.

PO Box 2543, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
(585) 360-1985 . sistercities@gmail.com
www.elsalvadorsolidarity.org

Who is Sister Cities?

The U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities Network is a grass-roots organization of U.S. citizens and residents 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, sixteen 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 experiences, support, and accompaniment. We strive to build a new kind of globalization, one built from the ground up and united by human values of justice and solidarity.

Read more about our work