(para leer en español, dele clíc aquí)
In August, FUNDAHMER celebrated 13 years of being a legal NGO here in El Salvador, a dream that grew out of accompaniment and solidarity with the Christian Base Communities beginning in the early eighties. FUNDAHMER is named for Mercedes Ruíz, a catechist and friend of many of the communities in Morazán and a partner in the accompaniment work that FUNDAHMER promotes. “Meche,” as he was affectionately known, “was a committed layperson, a good husband and father, lived in a way consistent to his ideals, and worked more than the priest in some areas. He also visited the poorest families and gave them moral support, and out of his poverty, material support as well” (Acompañando a las CEBS con sus testigos del reino, Equipo Maíz, 2011). Meche fell ill with stomach cancer and died during FUNDAHMER’s legal process. At a time when many organizations who work on behalf of the poor were wary of incorporating themselves with the post-war government, Meche encouraged the effort in order to formalize support and accompaniment of the people, despite the risk.
August is also the month for new corn and the celebration of the beginning of the harvest season. To celebrate FUNDAHMER’s anniversary, we headed out to Sacacoyo for an atolada and shared a lunch of atol de elote, riguas, elotes, cream and cheese. Delicious! We also shared memories and stories of our work as FUNDHAMER, some who have been involved since the beginning and others who have gotten picked up along the path. At one point, we divided up into three groups, each charged with the task of presenting a creative representation of what FUNDAHMER’s work means to us. Group one presented a skit about Meche visiting a community and facilitating the people’s organization, group two put new lyrics to a favorite Salvadoran anthem, and group three presented a hilarious depiction of delegation work. The videos below of these creative presentations and a poem dedicated to FUNDAHMER by Arsenia, are not the best quality, but we couldn’t keep them silent! Enjoy, and many thanks, as well, to the worldwide FUNDAHMER family, without whom this joyous, difficult, and lifelong work would not be possible.