By Yael Falicov
All across the world, people are celebrating women in the month of March, and we at EcoViva have a lot to celebrate!
Congratulations, Estela — We are proud to announce that Estela Hernández has become the first women elected to the Salvadoran Legislature from the department of Usulután! As the President of the Mangrove Association and a key leader of La Coordinadora, Estela is perhaps the person we work with most closely in El Salvador. She ran on an FMLN platform that called her “a champion of the environment and social needs of communities in the Bay of Jiquilisco.” And indeed, since facilitating the first local conflict resolution circle in the Lower Lempa region the mid-1990s, Estela has been incredibly successful at promoting peace and environmental sustainability in approximately 100 local communities – read more about about Estela´s amazing history.
While we will miss collaborating with Estela on a daily basis, we are thrilled that this visionary community organizer will be in a position of power. As a legislator, she can propose national policies that promote sustainable agriculture, protect the environment and prioritize the needs of rural campesino communities. And we will continue to support Estela in her new role. In fact, we are working to bring her to Washington D.C. to meet with U.S. Congresspeople about issues of concern in the Bay of Jiquilisco – stay tuned!
As befits International Women´s Month, in March EcoViva brought two wonderful new women onto our team: Dionicia Lara, our new Office Manager, and Adriana Solís López, our new National Outreach Director.
Dionicia Lara is originally from Canton Barahona, a small village in the department of La Paz, El Salvador. She came to the US as a refugee during the military dictatorship, and is now thrilled to be able to help her home country through EcoViva’s work. A systems whiz, she is already providing creative solutions to improve our database and make our office run more effectively.
Adriana Solís López will help build our community of support across the United States. Adriana is originally from Los Angeles, though her family is from Durango, Mexico, and she has strong ties to Nicaragua. Look out for program updates, success stories and other EcoViva updates from Adriana in your inbox.
You can read more about Dionicia and Adriana on our website.
Join me in congratulating Estela for her victory, and welcoming Dionicia and Adriana to our team!