Democracy will be on the ballot in El Salvador when voters go to the polls in February. Although barred by the Constitution, President Nayib Bukele is running for…
On September, 26 homeowners in Jujutla, El Salvador, finally received titles to their properties 28 years after paying for them. The pace of progress in fixing El Salvador’s broken property title system is painfully slow, and COFOA leaders continue to hold negotiations with the National Housing Minister and her staff. But in the meantime, these small victories, which make a huge difference in people’s lives, are keeping hope alive.
Similarly, residents in the Trebol community near San Salvador celebrated winning garbage service for the first time in thirty years. COFOA leaders in El Rosario, an agricultural town in Cuscatlán, have a newly paved main street (valued at $215,000) after 80 years. Families in Citala, in the hills above Chalatenango, have a new school (valued at $347,000) for the first time in 100 years. COFOA leaders can celebrate because they listened to their neighbors, gathered them in community forums to prioritize needs, and negotiated with local mayors to secure funding.
COFOA’s strategy is to continue to keep the pressure on the Bukele government to respond to the needs of the Salvador people by regularizing the titles of 350,000 families, prioritizing community development funding in communities with the greatest needs, creating a national unemployment compensation system, making clean water a constitutional right, and blocking mining. At the same time, COFOA is working to protect and strengthen El Salvador’s fragile democracy by engaging and empowering residents to hold their mayors and national legislators accountable. As a result, more and more communities are organizing with COFOA, which is now supporting 134 teams across ten departments. And COFOA’s profile in El Salvador and across Central America is growing.