In El Salvador, AJWS focuses on ending human rights violations against women and LGBTQI+ people, and protecting the land and water that is critical for the survival of farmers, Indigenous people, youth, women and communities affected by civil war.

The Problems

El Salvador’s people face some of the worst environmental degradation in Latin America. Mining, large-scale agriculture and other projects threaten to damage the country’s environment and displace rural communities that depend on local land and water to survive. The companies planning these projects sometimes intimidate and deceive local communities, limiting their right to make informed decisions about the use of their land. Indigenous people, in particular, have been evicted from the territories they had lived in for many generations; as a result, they are often left destitute, unable to produce enough food to sustain their families.

El Salvador’s indigenous people face intense social exclusion and discrimination. LGBTQI+ people, women, youth and sex workers also face obstacles in making their voices heard and respected. Some face barriers to accessing health care, education and other critical services—especially sex workers and LGBTQI+ people, who experience violations from police and organized crime groups with impunity.

Our Solutions

AJWS is committed to supporting marginalized communities in El Salvador to advocate for human rights. Our grantees are:

  • Collecting evidence of human rights violations, particularly against indigenous groups, women, LGBTQI+ people and sex workers
  • Educating marginalized groups about their human rights and strengthening their leadership and advocacy skills
  • Organizing communities to lobby for improved legal protections to prevent land grabs and other harmful development tactics
  • Building relationships between activists at local, national and international levels to strengthen El Salvador’s social movement for human rights