Rural life in El Salvador can be a stagnating environment to grow up in. Poverty and a largely dysfunctional educational system conspire to offer few opportunities for personal development. The needs and aspirations of children are often overlooked by households consumed in the struggles of economic survival. Underfunded and overcrowded classrooms provide little in terms of a productive or creative learning environment.
According to a 2005 study by the Inter American Development Bank, the average 25 year-old in El Salvador has had a mere 2.5 years of primary education, and approximately 20% of all young adults never have been to school at all. Many of the best and brightest turn toward emigration to increase opportunities for personal development, yet fewer than ten percent will successfully complete secondary or post-secondary programs after settling in their destination country.
Those who stay in El Salvador have little economic opportunities, and often join gangs and become involved in drug trafficking or other criminal activities as a matter of economic survival. For the future of El Salvador, youth need sustainable alternatives that encourage their positive participation in their country’s future.
With the support of EcoViva, youth in rural El Salvador are organizing at the local and regional level to gain access to education and job opportunities that allow them to stay in their home communities and create a sustainable future.
Read more about about our Youth Empowerment Programs.