Students Return to Tell El Salvador’s Story

Two Humboldt State University alumni were chosen out of 15 people to embark on a two-week delegation to organize efforts to liberate Salvadorans from the privatization of public resources.

The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), a Washington D.C.-based program that stands against U.S. governmental involvement with El Salvador, promotes economic and social justice for Salvadorans.

Grecia Alfaro-Ruiz, a recent HSU graduate, used her experience from the sociology program to organize efforts to liberate Salvadorans from the privatization of public resources and other social justice issues. Each delegate was either born in El Salvador but grew up in the U.S. or has direct family native to El Salvador.

“During the delegation these were all women, mujeres, who are Salvadoran and they’re all about the movement,” Alfaro-Ruiz said. “I think that was really cool because it’s all just young women trying to make a difference for their country.”

According to Alfaro-Ruiz, the delegates met with people fighting for LGBTQ rights and women’s rights, Marxist economists, labor movement organizers and water defenders.

CISPES delegates Eric Ayala, Mellissa Linton-Villafranco, and Grecia Alfaro-Ruiz (left to right) pose for a photo at Humboldt State University’s Nelson Hall East on Oct. 5 after sharing their stories from their experience El Salvador with the community. Photo courtesy of Grecia Alfaro-Ruiz

Eric Ayala, a recent HSU graduate who was also chosen for the delegation, traveled from Los Angeles to partner with Alfaro-Ruiz for a report to the community, which took place on campus in Founders Hall on Oct. 5.

The main focus of the report was the privatization of water by the right-wing party in El Salvador. According to the delegates, the oligarchy—the richest families in the nation—controls the government and have rationed small amounts of water for poor citizens available at seemingly random times.

“Basically what that means is that the poorest people, indigenous folks, the people that are most marginalized in El Salvador, are going to be affected by the privatization of water because they don’t have the means to pay for something like water,” Alfaro-Ruiz said.

The story Ayala and Alfaro-Ruiz shared with the HSU community is one of few that put the spotlight on El Salvador.

“I think it’s important to recognize that my people are resilient,” Alfaro-Ruiz said. “They’re out there fighting.”


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