Meet Raquel

My name is Raquel Torres and I am a rising sophomore at Marquette University, double majoring in Political Science and Latin American Studies. I have spent the summer virtually interning for Programa Velasco, and the experience has been something that I will forever be grateful for.  I was born and raised in Chicago, but my […]

The challenge of coloring and drawing for Salvadoran rural women

For a lot of people, coloring and drawing can be a very natural, relaxing, and even therapeutic activity almost like any other, if we are familiar with these actions. Other people may feel insecure because they don’t know if they’re doing a good job or they consider it to be an activity only for children. […]

How do the WEP Self-Saving and Lending Groups work?

As a part of the Women’s Empowerment Project(WEP), participants create self-savings and loan groups, called GAAP for its meaning in Spanish, in the communities of Tepecoyo and San Ramon since 2019. The methodology was inspired by a community initiative made by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and it involves making savings and loans with funds from […]

5 useful tips from women entrepreneurs to practice the habit of saving

In the Women’s Empowerment Project (WEP), the entrepreneurs have learned to understand that unforeseen situations can happen at any time, so they have learned to better plan their family finances by making use of all the knowledge they have acquired in the economic empowerment workshops. We know that the situation in which they live is […]

New branding: Strategic Design students joined forces with 10 women entrepreneurs

Throughout 2020, strategic design students from the Monica Herrera School of Communication (ECMH), supported entrepreneurs from Programa Velasco’s (PV) Women’s Empowerment Project (WEP) by working together to create and improve the branding of their businesses. As part of a class project at ECMH, 30 students were divided into groups of three and partnered with participants […]

Sister Peggy’s talk

In March 2021, to commemorate International Women’s Day, Sister Peggy O’Neill, director of Centro Arte para la Paz (Center of Arts for Peace) shared how she has seen the reality for women evolve over the last 37 years in El Salvador. Danielle Mackey, a journalist reporting on issues in Central America interviewed Sister Peggy.

PV challenges: “Women can’t make decisions about money”

As mentioned in our previous articles within this series, it is common that women in El Salvador are expected to do unpaid work and/or remain at home. According to society, this is the most important role women fulfill. On the other hand, men are seen as the head of the household and the one who […]

PV Challenges: “Woman, you look prettier with your mouth shut”

Calladita te ves más bonita. You look prettier with your mouth shut. How many are familiar with this phrase? Here in El Salvador this phrase is commonly heard among women’s groups as a subtle reminder of two things:  1) Women should aspire toward being “physically beautiful.” Keeping opinions to yourself is one of the ways […]

PV Challenges: “Decisions are made by the man of the house. Women must keep their opinions to themselves”

In 2018, Marina Subirats, an expert in feminism, coeducation, and education for equality, gave her opinion on the book “Emilio” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, considered a benchmark in education. The philosopher highlights the importance of reinforcing children’s freedom and self-confidence. However, in one chapter, in particular, Rousseau mentions that girls specifically must be contradicted to prevent […]