June 2024 – Executive Director’s Reflections & News from El Salvador

Executive Director’s Reflections

The Immortality of Youth

I was struck by the two juxtapositions of youth in this newsletter: the exuberance and energy of the school intramural day and the sobering reminder that it is never too early to check for cancers.  A project for our internos, the kids who live at COAR, highlighted especially skin and breast cancer, given our population of girls and teenage young women and the strength of the Salvadoran sun.  What pleased us all was how seriously the kids took the cancer awareness project.  They all said they learned to tell their housemothers about anything suspicious so that they could go to a doctor.  I know they feel (and look) immortal, but they need to incorporate health challenges into their outlook and practice of life.  It is the same with the abuses that have befallen them.  They should not have to learn those coping mechanisms so young, but they don’t have a choice.  Luckily, they have the resources to build strength and resilience.  And they have the trust, trust that they will be taken seriously and have the time and safety to work towards their emotional and mental health.  Thanks to you.

News from El Salvador

Often no news is good news for El Salvador.  Our news this quarter is that things remain the same. Life remains hard due to grinding poverty and for families whose sons and husbands have been swept up in the on-going mass incarceration of young men without due process.  The rainy season is just beginning, but so far, no floods or landslides.  Dire, truly dire poverty, famine, war, disasters, these grab attention and aid dollars.  The long-term work of building a healthy, educated, secure population takes more time.  So COAR’s work continues.