Watercolor original by: Marie Spaeder Haas

September 2021 – Executive Director’s Reflections & News from El Salvador

PRIVACY, DIGNITY, SAFETY

As most of you know, the COAR children come from tough backgrounds. They are victims of abuse that is sometimes horrific, often terrifying, and always humiliating. Healing shame is an important part of the staff’s work with the children. It is always a difficult balance for us to tell you about them and why they benefit so much from your help but also to protect their privacy and dignity, and more often, their safety, especially in this age of social media. The abusive situations that the children come from often lead to legal action. So, we have begun guarding the children’s names and photos more than in the past. Thank you, all of you, for your understanding, patience, and faith – faith that with the Archdiocese of San Salvador and the professional childcare staff of COAR, you are healing children and young adults.

News from El Salvador

El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, has again been in the news. This month El Salvador became the first country to mandate Bitcoin as legal tender (along with the US dollar, which has been El Salvador’s only legal currency since 2004.) Judges that he appointed in a sweeping action in May have ruled that he is allowed to run for a second (consecutive) 5-year term. The Assembly, dominated by his party, recently passed a law to remove one-third of the nation’s judges and prosecutors. Many debate the constitutionality of these actions. Many more debate the long-term consequences of these actions in a democratic system. No one debates the president’s popularity within the country. He remains popular because of his handling of the pandemic, gang violence, and frank criticism of the blatant corruption of the past administrations of both of the dominant political parties. While in-depth political analysis it is beyond a paragraph in the COAR News, it is important for us all to know the nature of the challenges that the COAR children will soon encounter as adults.