Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking Awareness in El Salvador

Yesterday as I was driving around the city the word “La Trata” jumped out at me. This is the Spanish word that refers to human trafficking…the buying and selling of people. Within an hour I saw two billboards and one bus explaining that “La Trata” is a crime and urging women and girls not to be deceived. This is huge. The truth is that despite the hotness of the topic of human trafficking in the States, many in El Salvador are unaware of the problem. Girls disappear, and women are sold into horrific situations of forced prostitution and domestic servitude. Hopefully that will begin to change. The new campaign, led by the First Lady of El Salvador, includes television commercials aimed at preventing child trafficking, and signs around El Salvador. […]

Christmas Shopping and Fireworks

El Salvador is a nation with many fatherless children. Because of crime, violence, immigration, and poverty many kids are growing up without the love and support that a family provides. These children spend much of their childhood being moved from one protection center to another which offers housing, but little else in terms of support and nurturing. There are also other types of centers, shelters, and private homes around the country and some children find themselves here because they were abused, have special needs, or are victims of horrible crimes such as human trafficking. This Christmas we were able to bring some love to some kids in El Salvador who have no family to love them, to nurture them, or to guide them. We realize that our efforts do not […]

Human Trafficking in El Salvador

Today has been declared National Human Trafficking Awareness Day in the U.S., and the whole month has been declared Human Trafficking Awareness Month. This is an issue that many people are aware of in the U.S., and great strides are being taken to identify and protect victims. Here in El Salvador, human trafficking or “la trata” as it is called, is an issue too. Here is a quick overview of the situation in El Salvador:  -women and children are far more likely to be trafficked than men -poverty is the number one risk factor for girls and women that become victims -the majority of victims are sexually exploited, but there are some who are forced into agricultural or domestic servitude -El Salvador is a source, destination, and transit country -within El Salvador, victims […]

A Smile

It’s been a few weeks since we started the Free the Girls Pilot Program. The girls that are involved in the pilot program are from the Gerardo Barrios community, and the program has been a learning experience for us all. I’m happy to report that the girls are doing great selling the bras so far. There is one girl, I will call her Karla, that was hesitant to try the program. She is quiet and shy, and doesn’t talk very much. She rarely smiles. She was chosen for the pilot program because at just 15 years of age, she already has a history of being prostituted and exploited. I think of myself at 15 and I can’t even wrap my mind around it. I can’t imagine the trauma and pain […]

FREE THE GIRLS Pilot Program

Those of you who subscribe to our e-newsletter have already heard the news that we have a great opportunity to work with a wonderful organization called FREE THE GIRLS ! FTG is dedicated to bringing hope and a new future to women who have been exploited through prostitution and sex trafficking. The program provides woman with the chance to make a living selling bras in the lucrative second-hand clothing market. The bras are donated in the United States and sold in countries around the world by these women. FTG has had great success in Africa and you can watch a CNN documentary about their inspirational work by clicking here. We are excited to test this program out in El Salvador! We have several women already signed up to be in the […]

Human Trafficking Awareness Day

Today is Human Trafficking Awareness Day, and I am thinking of the estimated 30 million men, women, and children who are living as modern-day slaves. That number – 30 million – is a big number, and trafficking is a big problem. It’s easy to look at that and feel overwhelmed. But I want to do my part and that means starting with the people in front of me. What does trafficking look like in El Salvador? Women and children are trafficked from rural areas into cities to work in prostitution and domestic servitude. People are trafficked into and out of El Salvador. Teenagers are tricked by “coyotes”  into entering the United States, when really they are entering a personal hell. There is forced begging, and debt servitude happening in this […]

Training Workshop on Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking. It’s a hot topic right now in the States, and it’s a global problem affecting millions every day who are living as slaves. Many of them are children. It is happening in the U.S., in Asia, in Africa, in Europe…in every corner of the globe people are being bought and sold. It’s happening in Central America too…right here in El Salvador there are victims. Many are being moved through Central America, or have been deceived into believing they have the chance for a better life in the U.S., so they trust the wrong person. As I talk to many around San Salvador, there is little information available on the problem. There is little awareness of what human trafficking actually is and how to recognize it. We ourselves are […]

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