March 2023 – Executive Director’s Reflections & News from El Salvador

Programs Director's Take-Over

One of the things that has most impressed me about COAR is the dedication of our staff and the 40 years of tradition we have in caring for El Salvador’s most vulnerable population. But 40 years of tradition doesn’t have to mean stagnation. It’s a wonderful thing to see our kids grow and move on—and an even more wonderful thing to know that, with our new transition program, they’ll do so truly ready to be on their own.
For US teens, going off to college is that transition experience: away from your family and mostly responsible for yourself, but not totally alone. College in El Salvador is different because there are no dormitories…and for COAR’s kids, no home to go to for a load of laundry and a favorite meal. This program is so important, because it gives COAR’s kids the practical tools they need that will allow them to continue to heal and create a better world, even once they’ve graduated!

News from El Salvador

For many years in the 2010s, El Salvador suffered from overly dry rainy seasons, which affected the bean and corn crops, staples which are especially important to small farmers who depend on their crops to feed their families. This is the case at COAR, as well, where the beans and corn raised on the property are enough to provide for the needs of the kids and staff for the whole year.

This year it was not a drought that has affected crops around El Salvador but rather Hurricane Julia, which made landfall in October and wiped out an estimated 20% of the bean harvest in the entire country. In a country already suffering from record inflation, where an average rural family earning minimum wage already spends up to 2/3 of their income on food, this can have disastrous consequences.


It will affect COAR, too, where we lost about 60% of our beans, and are already thinking about what having to purchase them will mean for our budget. Your gifts give COAR cushion. Thanks.