With a vision to develop their ocean beach community as a tourist attraction, COFOA leaders from Puerto Avalos secured a commitment from the mayor of Jiquilisco to secure $270,000 to complete paving the road between the two towns. “It is important for us today that the mayor has put his signature on this covenant with the community. It signifies the results of all the meetings and work that we have done to hold ourselves and our government accountable,” says Fr. Antonio Lopez. Similar victories are being celebrated by leaders in El Llano and nine communities in Usulutan. Next year, leaders expect to see the completion of the long promised bridge over Rio Roldan.
COFOA celebrates 10 years of work. The people of El Salvador continue to struggle with the legacy of war – violence, extortion, and fear. Political polarization results in continued repression, patronage, and corruption. Many people respond by hiding or fleeing. COFOA leaders are choosing another path – organizing to build a culture and practice where people are determining their own priorities, seeking partnership, and holding officials accountable to the common good.
“… Organizing has had a very big impact on me…. it has helped me to develop myself socially and personally…. we have achieved many amazing things that we would have never imagined.” -Lucila Solano, Santa Teresa, El Salvador