“I know that this community deals with violence; people have great needs; and poverty makes people decide to migrate to other countries. I have faith that through community organizing people could empower themselves and learn how to negotiate with public officials so they can solve these problems.” – Karla Arenivar, COFOA organizer in Soypango
Karla Arenivar helped leaders from St. Paul the Apostle Anglican Parish, Saint Francis Community Services, and the local Community Development Association organize a Community Assembly for 100 people from the Amatepec neighborhood in the city of Soyapango. These communities have long been ignored by local authorities.
To focus their energy, small groups prioritized issues they want to address. These included bad sewage pipes, lack of street lighting, poor garbage collection, lack of legal property titles, and safety. Leaders committed to the community organizing process as the way to build a powerful democratic voice that can negotiate with public officials to change these conditions solve the problems. Anglican Bishop Juan David Alvarado and Pastor Alfredo López participated in the discussions and encouraged the group to join COFOA efforts.
Karla is organizing with parishes in Soypango and San Salvador in the San Salvador Department where nearly 2.5 million people live.