Americas

Blog: Juan Matamoros on how to help El Salvador

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The San Salvador-based consultant discusses a looming humanitarian crisis in his homeland and identifies how you can help those in need

As you know, in many countries, especially those of Latin America, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have been more devastating than in others, many people have lost their jobs as a source of income for their family, and particularly in El Salvador, there are thousands of people that work in the “informal” sector (street vendors, waiters, gardeners, etc,) that haven’t worked for months and are now literally starving with their families.

When you drive outside of the capital, you can actually see people by the side of the road waving white flags asking for food [pictured, above]. Because of this terrible situation, with a group of friends, we started bringing food and basic necessities to families with children about two months ago.

We believe that it is essential to help the people who aren’t as fortunate as ourselves in these hard times. With this in mind, I wanted to share with you the link of our GoFundMe account

Currently, we are reaching approximately 100-150 people from about 50 families with clothes and groceries in the rural community of Talnique, El Salvador. We bring them some food and clothes but it’s hardly enough since there are a lot of children and we can only get there once a week.

Our goal is to be able to expand our resources so we can reach out to at least 1,500 families with this campaign and also help rebuild more than 50 homes that were also devastated by the harsh weather we’ve been experiencing.

Our motivation

We believe that we all have the responsibility to help each other as inhabitants of Earth, and we find it very hard to enjoy all the benefits we have in life when you’ve seen first-hand little children starving and cold, hoping that someone can provide them with what they not only need, but deserve as human beings.

This is the reason I’m writing this, because if we could receive donations from you all, we would really be making a difference to the lives of hundreds of people.

In the last few years, I have realized a lot of very important things – universal truths, you may say. And probably the most important one is the fact that everything we do, say or even think resonates exponentially, for better or worse.

So I questioned myself, what am I really doing to make this world, my home, our home, a better place? I was shocked to realize that the answer was “nothing much.”

With this realization, suddenly I saw opportunities to serve all around me. It was as if I had said “I am available” and the universe listened and started sending me work to do.

This is how, through some close friends of mine, I learned about the struggling rural communities in our country. These are people who are unfortunately used to having a hard time making ends meet, but have now reached new levels of poverty because of the pandemic, and some are even facing starvation.

The truth is, once you get involved with the people, their heartbreaking stories, and above all, their unbreakable faith, it’s pretty hard not to feel extremely lucky and grateful for the opportunity to give something back. However, this effort is not nearly enough when there is so much need in a sense of extreme urgency. Where money will be distributed

Donations will be distributed in two specific areas:

  1. Healthcare:

A lot of the people in these communities are senior citizens and suffer from chronic disease such as arthritis, diabetes and heart disease, and cannot afford the expensive medication they need to alleviate the symptoms.

  1. Construction work:

In June, Hurricane Amanda struck El Salvador leaving thousands of people homeless and with serious damage to their already precarious homes. And there are close to zero organizations that are helping them rebuild their houses.

Am I positive for the future? Absolutely. I am a firm believer that whatever we put our hearts and minds to, it already begins existing. So yes, I am certain we can make a positive change in hundreds of lives.

Juan Matamoros FCSI (pictured, back left, with fellow volunteers)

 

Further details:

If you can help Juan Matamoros and his colleagues to make a difference for the people of El Salvador in any way, please donate via this GoFundMe account.