LAC PROGRAMS UPDATE
Serving Central America, Cuba and the Caribbean
Project: Humanitarian Assistance for Vulnerable Communities in El Salvador
In February 2020, the Loyola Foundation granted funds to OAA’s local partner Association AGAPE of El Salvador, a Catholic organization, to purchase a brand-new pick-up truck. Founded in 1978 by Father Flavian Mucci, AGAPE serves some of El Salvador’s most vulnerable communities through human development projects and distribution of humanitarian assistance combined with income–generating projects to promote sustainability. AGAPE is using the donated vehicle to transport donations, such as food aid, personal care items, and even medical supplies to its medical centers and medical staff, which provides healthcare services through the organization’s various Rural Health programs.
The donated pick-up truck is ideal for distributing humanitarian aid through dirt roads that connect El Salvador’s hard-to-reach communities.
One of the main projects in which the pick-up truck has been employed is AGAPE’s assistance project “solidarity route,” which responds to the needs of those communities that have suffered the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and a tropical storm that struck the country in quick succession in May and June 2020. Through its “solidarity route” project, AGAPE has distributed food baskets, hygiene items, clothing, and blankets. The project has benefitted around 15,000 people in 29 municipalities including remote rural communities that are difficult to access.
Many Salvadorians have been forced to leave their homes by criminal gangs and the high rate of violence. They often choose migration to the U.S. as the only viable option. The complexity of the combined issues of poverty, hunger, and unemployment due to recent COVID-19 related lockdowns, have worsened the situation for families who were already vulnerable. A significant number of areas in El Salvador continue to be plagued by criminal gangs, extreme poverty and food insecurity, which drive internal and outward migration. These communities are in great need of food to meet their daily caloric needs.
AGAPE’s Solidarity Route delivers essential food items to 29 municipalities across El Salvador.