June 2015 Newsletter page 6

From the Peace Mission’s
Executive Director

By Mary K. Stevenson

You are helping . . .
COAR is clearly part of the solution to the crisis of children at the US border-–a problem that continues despite being off the front pages. As the Alliance for Prosperity plan proposes, fix the problems: build skills in the population, create jobs, strengthen civil society so that youth can thrive and build a future. COAR is a safe place where children learn skills, both for jobs and to build a civil society. It is slow and expensive work. But we are Catholics. We are in it for the long haul.

Nepal’s earthquake . . .
As we have said before, helping COAR helps, by proxy, countries that experience disasters. El Salvador suffered immense earthquakes in 2001 and will again. But future earthquakes will meet a population of adults who are better prepared to react. Buildings were rebuilt better, including our own parish church and buildings at COAR. That will free-up aid money for other, needier countries. Building a society that withstands earthquakes is slow and expensive work. But we are Catholics. We are in it for the long haul.

News from El Salvador

1) Alliance for Prosperity announced
2) A New Problem for the Children: kidnap

The crisis of the drug gangs that cause Salvadoran children and youth to flee to the US continues.
However, two recent articles highlight two new aspects:

1) The Economist, April 18, 2015, pg. 31,
“Stemming the Migrant Tide” describes a new proposal by the US to aid El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras in keeping children from fleeing. With nearly $1 billion in aid, “Four-fifths of the aid proposal is aimed at building up civilian institutions and fostering economic development.” And, “ . . . have agreed on a joint plan to bolster job-creating industries such as tourism, manufacturing and agribusiness.”

2) The New Yorker, April 27, 2015, pg. 40,
“Where Are The Children?” describes a new horror for children trying to cross into the US: kidnappers grab them and extort the US relatives for ransom. “America’s migrant-extortion market remains in the shadows of our fierce immigration debate.”