Since our work began in 1996 as the Foundation for Self-Sufficiency in Central America, we have sponsored dozens of community projects, many of which continue to have a positive legacy. Below are a few of the most well-known projects that are not currently active.
This project was one of three initiatives that grew out of the gang truce that we helped our partner communities negotiate in 2001. We provided former gang members with the ability to remove their tattoos, helping them reintegrate with their communities and reducing their risk of being targets for violence and police repression.
Romero Tree Campaign
Hundreds of people sponsored our mangrove tree planting campaign to honor the 25th anniversary commemoration of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Volunteers from churches and schools from across the United States worked with local community leaders to plant mangroves in the Bay of Jiquilisco to carry on the spirit of Romero’s message of peace.
Culture of Peace Project
Our co-founder Chencho Alas initiated this project in 2004, inspired in part by his success in helping negotiate the local gang truce in the Lower Lempa. He used this example to bring together community members from various parts of Central America to discuss the meaning of peace and how to make it a reality in every community. In 2008 he created the Foundation for Sustainability and Peacemaking in Mesoamerica to carry on this work at a regional level.
Roundhouses and Housing Construction
The devastating earthquake of 2001 left hundreds of families in our partner communities homeless. With the help of Boltcutters International and other institutions, we helped many of these families rebuild permanent shelters, including wooden roundhouses and concrete block structures.
Fruit Tree Project
Malnutrition in the Lower Lempa area of El Salvador is common due to the lack of variety in children’s diets. From 1999 to 2007 we helped to remedy this problem by planting hundreds of fruit trees at local elementary schools. To this day, many of these trees continue to provide readily accessible fruit to the children who play in their shade.