Poverty and violence plague El Salvador.
A 12 year civil war cost the lives of around 75,000 people and left deep psychological, emotional and physical scars on its people. Today, much of the population continues to live in fear as extreme gang violence has left this small Central American country with one of the highest murder rates in the world.
Amidst the violence and overshadowed by the legacy of war, the rights and aspirations of people with disabilities are largely ignored – and escaping a life of poverty is almost impossible.
We’re helping people with disabilities, including many severely injured during the war, to fight for their rights, lift themselves out of poverty and become champions in their communities.
Our work with CESTA includes bringing people with a disability together to form local disability associations. We offer training to members of the associations so they know their legal rights and provide small loans and grants, as well as tools, seeds and livestock, to help them set up and run their own businesses.
We're provide training to local disability associations to help people fight for their rights.
Loans and grants
We're providing small loans and grants to help people setup and run their own small business.
Seeds and tools
We're giving seeds, tools and livestock to help people become self sufficient.
Celebrate the gift of hope this Advent
You can help change lives today. You can help some of the poorest and most neglected people in El Salvador and around the world to stand up for their rights, provide for their families, be active members of their community, and build a better future for themselves, their families and their country.
Vidal was only 21 when he fell from a tree while cutting down coconuts. He broke two discs in his spine, leaving him with limited mobility. He can walk short distances with a walking frame, and is mostly confined to a wheelchair.
After his accident Vidal was no longer able to return to his job on a plantain farm, and found it difficult to find work. He moved back home to his mother’s house but, without his income, they struggled to make ends meet.
Nine years ago, Vidal heard about his local disability association, set up by SCIAF’s partner CESTA, and soon became a member. He also received training on his rights, and received a small interest-free loan from CESTA to buy chickens and materials for an enclosure, so that he could have a small home farm. His mother also received a loan, to make and sell tortillas.
Thanks to the loan, the family are able to provide for themselves and are financially better off. They spend any additional income on household bills, and now have a healthier and more varied diet. Additionally, they are now able to send Vidal’s youngest brother to school.
With the support Vidal received, he also has increased confidence, socialises more, and is much quicker and more mobile in his wheelchair. He’s found huge benefit in meeting other people and having friends who understand his experiences.
Vidal has also found an added degree of happiness, with the extra income and a little more security, he has been able to find a girlfriend.
Everyone wants someone to share their life with. Emotionally I am very happyVidal Castillo, El Salvador