Human Trafficking

Christmas Update / Navidad en MTES

We had a joyful Christmas with all of our clients this year! So many of those we serve don’t have any family to celebrate the holidays with so it means so much to them to be part of our celebrations at MTES!                 We were able to throw two parties for the survivors that we serve! These girls and women have been through so much hurt and pain in their young lives, so we love to give them a chance to smile! This year we threw a party and gave gifts to 7 child trafficking survivors in addition to having a Christmas party for all the women in Free The Girls, and their children! There was such a beautiful moment at this party […]

Human Trafficking Awareness / Concientización de la Trata Humana

Did you know that in the United States, January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and today, January 11th, is Human Trafficking Awareness Day? In our world today, it is estimated that 30 million men, women, and children are victims of human trafficking…modern-day slavery. Human trafficking happens through the use of force, fraud, or coercion to make someone do some type of labor or commercial sex act. Human trafficking happens all around our world every day. In El Salvador, we are working to fight this horrible evil through support services for underage survivors of trafficking, and through transitional services for adult survivors. Women and girls living in poverty, in gang-controlled communities, or trying to get to the United States are at a high risk of being trafficked. Our hearts break for […]

MTES In The News / MTES en las Noticias

In case you missed it, Mission To El Salvador was featured in a segment on The CNN Freedom Project! One of our partnerships is with the organization Free The Girls, and together we work to provide jobs for women who are survivors of human trafficking. We are humbled and honored that The CNN Freedom Project chose to highlight the work happening here in El Salvador. It is so encouraging to see such a beautiful story about El Salvador! You can few the link in English here, and in Spanish here.   En caso que se lo haya perdido, Mission to El Salvador apareció en el segmento El Proyecto Libertad de CNN. MTES se ha asociado con la organización “Free the Girls” y juntos nos esforzamos para proveer una fuente de […]

Meditations on the Advent Season…Hope / Meditaciones de la época Navideña…Esperanza

We live in tension. Tension between the first coming of Christ, and His return. Tension in a world that hopes for things to be made right, but that still sees how glaringly things have gone wrong. We live and struggle in this place. As we enter the Advent season, that struggle and longing becomes something that we meditate on, and in this first week of the Advent season we center our thoughts around hope. Hope that the promises He has made to us will come true. Hope that there are better days ahead. Hope that in the end He wins and not our painful circumstances. This season, I am learning much about hope from several brave women. The women that work in our Free The Girls microenterprise have made choices […]

Numbers – Cifras

I opened the newspaper, and the numbers screamed out at me. A lot of talk about El Salvador is reduced to its numbers. Number one murder rate in the world…Leading the world in the number of child homicides every day…Number one rate of femicide…Record numbers of undocumented child refugees fleeing El Salvador for the U.S…High numbers of daily deportations. Headline after headline points to the number of the dead, the number of criminals, the number of students dropping out of school because of the violence, the number of new shelters being set up around the country as families are forced out of their homes by the killings on their doorsteps. The numbers climb until they swirl around like some vast, dark cloud of despair. The numbers can crush us. When […]

It’s Complicated

Está yuca. That’s a Salvadoran slang phrase that basically means that it’s complicated. It’s messed up,  and it’s tough to sort out. We use that phrase a lot around our office, and that’s because almost every one of our clients comes to us with layers of complication. Poverty, violence, systems that are practically rigged against them. Here is a glimpse… There is the boy coming to New Dawn because gangs threatened his life back in his hometown. He had to flee and he fled to the streets of San Salvador. Life on the streets is hard…abuse and addiction soon become the cycle that he can’t escape. There is the man who was traumatized as a child, and eventually turned to alcohol. Over time, he lost his wife, his job, his […]

Angela’s Story

“When I am at the center, I have the urge to sniff glue but if I give in to it, they won’t let me come in. When I visit the center, I can eat and shower before I go back out to the street; I couldn’t do that before. That is why I like to come. We do activities and they treat me really well.”  Angela*, age 15 Angela is 15 years old and living on the streets of San Salvador. Her story is like the story of many of El Salvador’s street kids. Her father died when she was less than a year old and she has no memories of him. She struggled with her mother to survive, sleeping in public bathrooms, doorways, and anywhere they could find shelter until […]

The Human Trafficking Risk Facing Migrant Children

  “Love you neighbor as yourself.”  We grow up hearing this concept that comes straight from the teachings of the Bible. We believe it, and it may even move our hearts to action. But who are our neighbors? This month is Human Trafficking Awareness Month so I want to take a moment to consider our closest neighbors and the trafficking risks they may be facing. If you are in the U.S.A. and reading this, your neighbors include Mexicans and Central Americans. You don’t have to go far to meet them. As I’m sure you’ve heard, the violence in Central American’s Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador) are sending hundreds of vulnerable children north in search of peace and safety. The situation is grim in El Salvador for children in high-risk […]

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas in El Salvador is always so much fun, and this year was no exception! There is a lot of joy to be found in bringing laughter, joy, and hope to those who feel disconnected from family and community during the holidays. We are grateful that we had the opportunity to step in and minister to our clients who may otherwise feel alone during the Christmas season. We want to say a big thanks to our donors for helping to make our Christmas celebrations happen this year! We gave gifts and threw parties for all the survivors that we work with, we had a huge party in the CISNA boys’ center, and we had our annual Christmas Eve party where we invited all of our clients off the streets and […]

Our Girls

Yesterday marked the International Day of the Girl. It’s a day to focus on girls, and issues that they are facing around the world. It’s easy to see girls as vulnerable and in need of protection but we can also see them as powerful members of their communities. Research tells us that when girls are educated, their whole communities are impacted. We can acknowledge the challenges, but also celebrate the victories. Here in El Salvador, girls are facing overwhelming obstacles. Many of the girls we work with have experienced the very worst that life has to offer in the very short time that they have been on this earth. Some have been trafficked, others abused and neglected. Many of them live in fear. The situation created by gangs and poverty […]

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