Stories written by Edgardo Ayala

Salvadoran Poultry Farms Produce Biogas, Easing Socio-environmental Conflicts

In a win-win relationship, a segment of El Salvador's agribusiness industry is taking steps to ease the tension of the historic socio-environmental conflict caused by poultry and pig farms, whose waste has caused concern and anger in nearby communities.

Higher Education in Central America: Poor Quality and Unaffordable for the Poor

Decades of civil wars and a lack of long-term public education policies, among other problems, have made higher education in Central America precarious and costly in general. In this region, made up of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, home to some 50 million inhabitants, the quality of education offered by public and private universities is poor, while costs are high even for those who can afford them.

Salvadoran Rural Communities Face Climate Injustice

For decades, poor fishing and farming communities in southern El Salvador have paid the price for the electricity generated by one of the country's five dams, as constant and sometimes extreme rains cause the reservoir to release water that ends up flooding the low-lying area where the families live.

Community Efforts Boost Wastewater Treatment in El Salvador – Video

Neither the central government nor most of El Salvador's 262 municipalities have had the capacity to install enough wastewater treatment plants to prevent it from being discharged directly into the environment.

Increasing Wastewater Treatment Is Vital for Families and Ecosystems in El Salvador

Insufficient wastewater treatment systems in El Salvador have taken a toll on the environment and the health of the population for decades, but some municipalities are putting more attention on processing their liquid waste.

El Niño’s Impact on Central America’s Small Farmers Is Becoming More Intense

The effects of El Niño on agriculture in Central America are once again putting pressure on thousands of small farmer families who are feeling more vulnerable economically and in terms of food, as they lose their crops, due to climate change.

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.

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