Stories written by Edgardo Ayala

El Salvador Is Making Little Effort to Eradicate Illiteracy

El Salvador's efforts to improve the educational level in the country seem to be falling short, with rundown schools, especially in rural areas, and little progress in overcoming illiteracy.

Unregulated Agrochemicals Harm Health of Rural Residents in Central America

In his green cornfield, Salvadoran farmer Medardo Pérez set about filling the hand-held spray pump that hangs on his back, with the right mixture of water and paraquat, a potent herbicide, and began spraying the weeds.

“No” to Sex Education Fuels Early Pregnancies in Central America

Pregnancies among girls and adolescents continue unabated in Central America, where legislation to prevent them, when it exists, is a dead letter, and governments are influenced by conservative sectors opposed to sex education in schools.

Biodigesters Light Up Clean Energy Stoves in Rural El Salvador

A new technology that has arrived in rural villages in El Salvador makes it possible for small farming families to generate biogas with their feces and use it for cooking - something that at first sounded to them like science fiction and also a bit smelly.

Wood Smoke Continues to Make Women Sick in El Salvador

Using a few dry sticks as fuel, Margarita Ramos of El Salvador lit the fire in her wood stove and set about frying two fish, occasionally fanning the flame, aware that the smoke she inhaled could affect her health.

Central America Fails to Acknowledge or Legislate in Favor of LGBTI Community

There is still a long way to go before the LGBTI population in Central America stops being discriminated against and begins to make progress in gaining recognition of their full rights, including the possibility of changing their name to match their gender identity, in the case of trans people.

Rainwater Harvesting Brings Hope for Central America’s Dry Corridor – Video

Chronic water shortages make life increasingly difficult for the more than 10.5 million people who live in the Central American Dry Corridor, an arid strip that covers 35 percent of that region.

Rural Women’s Constant Struggle for Water in Central America

“This is a very difficult place to live, because of the lack of water,” said Salvadoran farmer Marlene Carballo, as she cooked corn tortillas for lunch for her family, on a scorching day.

El Salvador Still Lacks Policies to Bolster Food Security

Sitting under the shade of a tree, Salvadoran farmer Martín Pineda looked desperate, and perhaps angry, as he said that governments of different stripes have come and gone in El Salvador while agriculture remains in the dumps.

Beatriz v. El Salvador Case Could Set Precedent on Abortion in Latin America

An open hearing in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Beatriz v. El Salvador case is raising hopes that this country and other Latin American nations might overturn or at least mitigate the severe laws that criminalize abortion.

Salvadoran Government So Far Unscathed by US Legal Case Alleging Secret Pact with Gangs

Despite serious allegations by the US justice system that two officials of the government of Nayib Bukele reached a secret agreement with the MS-13 gang to keep the homicide rate low, the Salvadoran president seems to have escaped unscathed for now, without political costs.

Racist Political System Thwarts Candidacy of Mayan Woman in Guatemala

Centuries of racism and exclusion suffered by indigenous peoples in Guatemala continue to weigh heavily, as demonstrated by the denial of the registration of a political party that is promoting the presidential candidacy of indigenous leader Thelma Cabrera in the upcoming general elections.

Salvadoran President’s Secrecy about New Mega-Prison – a Harbinger of Corruption

The construction of a mega-prison, in which the government of El Salvador intends to imprison some 40,000 gang members, is in line with President Nayib Bukele’s tendency to hide public information on public projects, classifying them as "reserved."

Deportees Start Businesses to Overcome Unemployment in El Salvador

While grilling several portions of chicken and pork, Salvadoran cook Oscar Sosa said he was proud that through his own efforts he had managed to set up a small food business after he was deported back to El Salvador from the United States.

Arbitrary Arrests in El Salvador Hit the LGBTI Community

Police raids against gang members in El Salvador, under a state of emergency in which some civil rights have been suspended, have also affected members of the LGBTI community, and everything points to arrests motivated by hatred of their sexual identity.

Former War Zones in El Salvador Obtain Water with the Help of the Sun – VIDEO

Several community-run water projects powered by solar energy have improved the quality of life of thousands of rural families in areas that were the scene of heavy fighting during El Salvador's civil war in the 1980s.

Solar Power Brings Water to Families in Former War Zones in El Salvador

The need for potable water led several rural settlements in El Salvador, at the end of the 12-year civil war in 1992, to rebuild what was destroyed and to innovate with technologies that at the time seemed unattainable, but which now benefit hundreds of families.

Guatemalans Fight Extractive Industries

The majority of the Guatemalan population continues to oppose mining and other extractive projects, in the midst of a scenario of socio-environmental conflict that pits communities defending their natural resources against the interests of multinational corporations.

Bukele’s Failed Bitcoin Experiment in El Salvador

A year after Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele decided to make El Salvador the first country where bitcoin is legal tender, the experiment has so far failed, as few of the original plan's objectives have been achieved.

High Cost of Medical Services Puts Immigrants’ Health at Risk in the U.S.

Getting sick is one of the worst fears facing Jorge, a Salvadoran living in the United States, because without access to health insurance or public health programs, he knows he will not be able to afford the high cost of hospital care.

Journalism Under Attack by Neo-Populist Governments in Central America

Practicing journalism in Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador is becoming increasingly difficult in the face of the persecution of independent media outlets by neo-populist rulers of different stripes, intolerant of criticism.

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