The Board of Directors traveled this past week to El Salvador for intense strategic planning discussions. Our new strategic plan is a visionary attempt to position SHARE for its next stage of work. Watch for more information about this as communication is rolled out soon!
To help frame our strategic planning work, the Board met with partner organizations, office staff from the Berkeley and San Salvador offices, and visited a number of grassroots projects that SHARE supports. We met with youth who were a part of a leadership development program. We spoke with women whose coop community had organized a community garden with SHARE’s help. We met with representatives from women’s empowerment, economic development, and climate change organizations. Wednesday morning we had the opportunity to visit the US Embassy and to meet with the newly appointed Ambassador, Mari Carmen Aponte. Only the third woman to have served in this position, Ambassador Aponte warmly greeted our delegation in Spanish. What a delightful surprise, especially after having met with previous office holders who lacked fluency in the language.
But it wasn’t just this change in ability that caught my attention. The political changes in El Salvador and the United States seem to have produced a change in tone and emphasis. Ambassador Aponte and her staff were enthusiastic about the work of SHARE and were interested in creating ways to perhaps partner on future projects. Additionally they seemed interested in finding ways to reach out to the community of El Salvadorans living in the United States and intrigued by some of SHARE’s new outreach among “hometown associations” in the US. Who knows what might be possible with the change in administrations. At the very least, it was a refreshing encounter and one might pave the way for a more open line of communication between the El Salvador Office of SHARE and the embassy.
For more information about the new embassador,
-Contributed by SHARE Board Member, Pastor Jeff Johnson