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El Salvador Youth Leaders Prepare for Action on Violence and Jobs

More than 6,000 men, women, and children were murdered in El Salvador in 2015. Tens of thousands are fleeing to the United States. But 22-year old Gabriela is trying to write a different story. “My mother went to the United States when I was nine. My father tried to do a good job, but now I live with my grandparents. Violence is a big problem here. The economic situation is awful. A lot of my friends have a really hard time.” Gabriela and 60 other young people are planning to mobilize hundreds of their friends and demand alternatives to gangs and violence. They are not alone. COFOA works in 15 towns in the La Paz Department, where thousands are taking to the streets, to say no to violence and meet monthly with public officials to demand investment in jobs and services for young people. It won’t be easy, but Gabriella, her friends, and the COFOA leaders throughout El Salvador believe the future lies in their own hands.

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