Our mission at Programa Velasco is to educate and empower children and families to create social change in El Salvador. By providing scholarships to families who could not otherwise afford to send their children to the Child Development Center, we hope to improve their chances in life through early education that will set the groundwork for continued development over the course of their lives. The socio-economic data we’re highlighting in this three-month series helps us identify the most vulnerable families in need of a scholarship. Each family is given individual consideration of their particular situation, but some trends are clear: single parent homes and families where the grandmother is the primary caretaker often face greater hardship than families where both parents are present.
Chantal de Alcuaz is a member of Programa Velasco’s Board of Directors. She shares some thoughts below on why she participates on the board and why she believes in our work.
When I visited El Salvador for a month in 2010 I was blown away by the faith and resistance I witnessed in the people, but also by the brutal legacy of decades of war and violence. I have been friends with Programa Velasco’s cofounder Annie Boyd since I met her on that visit and am honored to play some small role in solidarity and healing by serving on the Board of Directors of Programa Velasco.
For the last two weeks we’ve talked about some of the broad basics regarding our scholarship families’ social and economic situation. This week we’d like to discuss one particular aspect of life in El Salvador that affects nearly all Salvadorans: public transportation.
Last week we talked about some of the basic demographics of the families we support through Programa Velasco. In this post, we’ll focus on a few of the statistics we mentioned about families’ incomes and what a typical month of expenses looks like. Can you imagine living your life on $273.91 a month?
By the time a child living in poverty turns 4 years old, she/he will have heard 30 million fewer words than more affluent peers. This was the finding from research conducted over 20 years ago, yet is getting more attention through Dr. Dana Suskind, a University of Chicago pediatric surgeon who is trying to close the ‘word gap’ through her work with the Thirty Million Words project.
Have you ever wondered why so many families in El Salvador need Programa Velasco’s scholarship support?
At the end of June, the participants in the WEP went up into one of the hills surrounding San Salvador for a retreat. We turned off our cell phones to tune into the peace and tranquility of the natural world. This retreat offered the women the opportunity to reflect individually and collectively on their inner-selves and their inter-personal relationships.
We are so grateful for Erica, her companionship, committment, and joy that she has shared with Programa Velasco and ANADES over the last two years. Programa Velasco is a more professional and sustainable organization due to Erica’s project implementation and management skills, innovative ideas, and generous spirit.
- Infographic: The concerning employment reality for +3M Salvadoran women July 9, 2020
- COVID-19, quarentine and the effects on entrepreneurs’ mental health June 30, 2020
- Our mental health research on ACEs is published June 28, 2020
- Training and equipping hospital workers with mental health skills June 16, 2020
- Angelica’s most significant change March 27, 2020