Update: Emergency response in El Salvador

By Rebeca Sandoval

Thanks to supporters like you, hundreds of people in El Salvador have the supplies they need to recover following Tropical Storm Julia.

On Oct. 9, Tropical Storm Julia hit El Salvador, bringing 24 hours of rain and high winds, causing widespread damage, flooding, and landslides. Among the areas hit were Cuisnahuat and San Julián, two rural communities where AFSC partners with women- and youth-led community groups.  

In response to the storm, AFSC put out a call for donations—and supporters like you responded. Together we raised $9,568 for emergency relief efforts and to help continue ongoing projects.  

For years, AFSC has worked in El Salvador, accompanying women, youth, and others leading sustainable agricultural projects and organizing in their communities. We have longstanding partnerships with Asociación Nuevo Amanecer El Salvador (ANADES) and the Center for Exchange and Solidarity (CIS), our partners in this relief effort.  

In recent weeks, our team has made three deliveries of critical supplies to Cuisnahuat and San Julián, providing support to 688 people. Reaching San Julián was particularly difficult because the storm had made several roads impassable. Community members identified safe entry points to guarantee the safety of our delivery team.  

With help from supporters like you, we were able to provide beans, rice, corn, tuna, and other food basics; soap and sanitary wipes; and galvanized sheeting to repair homes. When we made the deliveries, families showed us the damage and destruction in their communities. In addition to homes, farming plots were also ravaged. These parcels are where AFSC and partners have helped community members grow tomatoes, green beans, and other vegetables to feed their families and sell at local markets.   

As part of the recovery effort, women leaders are rehabilitating agricultural land. They are also planting Native seeds that they had gathered and stored from community barter and exchange spaces supported by AFSC and ANADES. Their collective efforts to promote food sovereignty in recent years have made them more resilient to crises like these and other impacts of climate change. Each day they have worked to rebuild has been full of solidarity and camaraderie. And it has meant a lot to them to know they have caring people like you behind them.    

It’s inspiring to see communities like Cuisnahuat and San Julián come together in difficult times. It is also inspiring to see the wider AFSC community come together to support their efforts. Thank you for standing with communities in El Salvador as they work not only to meet immediate needs, but also to rebuild and continue their work for a more just and sustainable future for all.