Educating and Learning from Nueva Esperanza
The following short films by Michael Boorer give a vivid flavour of what it's like to visit a growing community in rural El Salvador. Two-week rural study visits organized by the Nueva Esperanza Support Group to build links of solidarity with the community of Nueva Esperanza, Usulatan.
Educating Nueva Esperanza - this film tells of work of local educators in Nueva Esperanza and their ambitions for their community
Music for Hope - this film explains the project to ensure that music and culture thrive and how young people are taking to it
La Quesera (see image above) - this one looks at the historical background for a community born out of the civil war suffering horrific human rights abuses
Radical Departures - this one gives an overview and explains the concept of a kind of tourism based on solidarity
You can read more about the background of work in Nueva Esperanza in this series of articles by Tim Hollins. The following is an extract:
"The modern day community has its roots in the outbreak of civil war in the late 1970s. Campesino communities throughout the country began to organise to demonstrate around simple demands : fair pay for hours worked, land reform. In Nicaragua the Sandinistas were engaged in overthrowing their corrupt right wing (pro US) government, the Cuban Revolution was already nearly 20 yrs old. Protest in El Salvador was met with state repression, repression with armed struggle. For a detailed account, read "Like Gold in the Fire", published by the support group. Suffice it to say here that the villagers from San Miguelito escaped the brutality around them for a nightmare refuge, followed by exile in newly liberated Nicaragua.
The two founder members of the support group, Maureen Russell and Tim Hollins first met these refugees 10 years later, in 1990, in Managua, Nicaragua, through political work for the FMLN coordinated by Armando Martinez, a disabled ex-combatant. Within a few months Armando's role changed to general coordinator (along with his cousin, Gloria Nuñez) of the repatriation of some 350 refugees, (approximately 80 families), who were demanding the right to return to El Salvador as a Community. It was an extraordinary experience to meet these amazing people who were so resourceful in solving endless problems through discussion, plans and action, - in short through organisation".
Contact: Nueva Esperanza Support Group, 169 Newcombe Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, B21 8DB. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: 0121 523 4118.