To learn more about Salvadoran Pastors Ruth and Alex Orantes, and for information about contributing to support their ministries in El Salvador, please visit

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"ON THE LINE" Video and Discussion led by Michael Heniese

Sunday, November 16th, 7pm to 9pm at CBC
Sponsored by CBC's El Salvador Partners

Unpatriotic…. Anti-American… Terrorist… These words have been front and center in the past months of our US presidential campaigns. What is the role of dissent and protest in a healthy democracy?

Just two weeks after the US presidential elections, the annual vigil and non-violent protests to close the School of the Americas / WHINSEC will take place in Georgia at the gates of Fort Benning on November 21 -23. The protest will be an opportunity for the progressive movement to push once again for the closure of the SOA/WHINSEC and to set an agenda against oppressive U.S. foreign policy, whatever the result of the elections will be.

Join us on Sunday, November 16th, from 7pm to 9pm for a 55 minute video about the people behind the movement to close the School of the Americas, one of the largest nonviolent movements in America today, including reflections by Martin Sheen, Susan Sarandon, Fr. Roy Bourgeois, and others about their activism, the dark side of U.S. foreign policy, and the challenges of protesting since 9/11.

After the video, Michael Heniese will
lead a discussion about dissent, activism, patriotism, terrorism, and U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. We will also have information available about advocacy opportunities to finally close the School of the Americas.

Here's a preview of the ON THE LINE video...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Presidential elections in El Salvador

CRIPDES leaders Bernardo Belloso and Jose Heriberto Orellano Franco were recent guest speakers at a forum on El Salvador's upcoming presidential elections hosted by the Philadelphia Romero Interfaith Center.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Revised plans for October meeting -- dinner and elections forum in Philadelphia

We have agreed to a revised plan for regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, Oct 22nd, so that we can attend the US / El Salvador elections forum at Tabernacle United Methodist. (see information in previous post) We think the forum will be especially interesting for those of us who are considering the March 2009 election observers delegation.

5:30pm early dinner and meeting for updates about Salvador Partners at a restaurant in University City near Tabernacle

7 - 9 pm US / El Salvador Elections Forum with Salvadoran guests at Tabernacle

We can certainly work on carpools as needed, and we will figure out specific plans for dinner in a restaurant.

Please send an email to Caroline if you plan to join us in Philadelphia for this event.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

US and El Salvador Elections Forum

US & El Salvador Elections Forum
What do the results in each country mean to the other?
Projections, connections, and challenges

October 22, 2008

Tabernacle United Church

3700 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia

7:00 – 9:00 P.M.

CRIPDES leaders Bernardo Belloso and Jose Heriberto Orellana Franco speak about issues in the Salvadoran elections and the polls which show that the FMLN presidential candidate Mauricio Funes leads against the ARENA candidate, Rodrigo Ávila. Also Carol Towarnicky, former chief editorial writer for The Daily News, discusses the implications of the upcoming U.S. presidential election results on the 2009 Salvadoran elections.

Additional guests include:

Emily Carpenter, National Director of the USESSC; and

Jan Morrill, USESSC El Salvador Co-Coordinator, who will be translating.

The Reverend Margaret Sawyer, Associate Pastor of Zwingli United Church of Christ as Moderator.

Background: In 2004 both countries experienced irregularities in their elections. In El Salvador, local US government officials preferred the incumbent and took an active role against the FMLN candidate. Many feel this influenced the election's results.

CRIPDES is the largest rural grassroots movement in El Salvador working in over 300 rural Salvadoran communities.

Presented by Philadelphia's Romero Interfaith Center. To learn more about USESSC and the issues, check out