El Salvador remains one of the most dangerous non-war zones in the world. Violent turf wars between rival gangs and the government threatens Salvadorans’ day-to-day life. This is highlighted by a continued migration crisis where families, as well as unaccompanied youth attempt to flee to neighboring countries or to the United States, with hopes of a safer future.
The Comandos de Salvamento provide an potentially life saving alternative for young people who want to avoid being recruited by gangs. Because the group does not discriminate when attending to victims, Los Comandos have earned a certain degree of respect from the gangs. Many of the volunteers find the Comandos base safer than home.
With no end in sight to El Salvador’s gang violence, the Comandos de Salvamento provide a beacon of hope for the country’s youth and a much needed service for the crime-wracked country.
Los Comandos de Salvamento started over 50 years ago as a humanitarian rescue service responding to natural disasters with a mission “to save the lives of people due to consequences of mother nature or man, regardless of race, religion, or political creed.” The volunteer ambulance corp now has 32 bases around the country.
Roberto Cruz, Los Comandos’ director, says they are grateful for any financial donations, but they especially welcome donations of retired emergency vehicles or ambulances (their current fleet is made of donations from fire departments in New Mexico and Arizona). Roberto also humbly requests any donations for basics like fuel (gas or diesel), and the famous yellow fabric that distinguishes and protects the volunteers.
KIND directly addresses the moves by the Trump administration to block victims of gang violence and domestic abuse from claiming asylum, and the barbaric policy that separates immigrant and refugee children from their parents.
KIND protects unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone to ensure that no child appears in court without an attorney. Ensuring that no child appears in immigration court without high quality legal representation.
Support KIND here: https://supportkind.org/
For young people who remain in El Salvador or return after deportation, life is a daily struggle. Not only do they face extreme violence and poverty, but cycles of massive migration and social upheaval are also exacerbating issues of family disintegration, school dropout, early pregnancy, and limited economic opportunities. Youth face persistent stigma, social exclusion, and exposure to extreme violence and trauma. They lack opportunities to develop the core skills they need to thrive.
Founded by Salvadorans, Glasswing International is an innovative non-profit that brings together governments, businesses, and communities to break the cycle of poverty and violence. Building on existing local resources, Glasswing develops sustainable programs, ranging from after-school programs and employability training, to parent and teacher trainings, community mental health initiatives, like the trauma assistance they provide to young migrants who are returned to El Salvador. .
Founder Celina De Sola was recently selected as one of the Obama Foundations inaugural class of 20 fellows.
Support Glasswing International here: https://glasswing.org/