Stories written by Edgardo Ayala

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.

The Price of Bukele’s State of Emergency in El Salvador

The body of Walter Sandoval shows a number of dark bruises on his arms and knees, as well as lacerations on his left eye and on his head - signs that he suffered some kind of violence before dying in a Salvadoran prison, accused of being a gang member.

Salvadoran Farmers Learn Agricultural Practices to Adapt to Climate Change

With the satisfaction of knowing he was doing something good for himself and the planet, Salvadoran farmer Luis Edgardo Pérez set out to plant a fruit tree on the steepest part of his plot, applying climate change adaptation techniques to retain water.

U.S.-Latin America Immigration Agreement Raises more Questions than Answers

The immigration agreement reached in Los Angeles, California at the end of the Summit of the Americas, hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden, raises more questions than answers and the likelihood that once again there will be more noise than actual benefits for migrants, especially Central Americans.

Small-Scale Fishers in Central America Demand Social Security Policies

At the pier, Salvadoran fisherman Nicolás Ayala checked the pocket of his pants to make sure he was carrying the hypertension pills he must take when he is at sea on a 24-hour shift. He smiled because he hadn’t forgotten them.

Poor Families Clash over Water with Real Estate Consortium in El Salvador

Alex Leiva woke up at 4:00 a.m. to perform a key task for his family’s survival in the Salvadoran village where he lives: filling several barrels with the water that falls from the tap only at that early hour every other day.

The Sun Illuminates the Nights of Rural Families in El Salvador

After working on the family farm, Carlos Salama comes home and plugs his cell phone into a socket via a solar-powered electrical system, a rarity in this rural village in southern El Salvador.

School Meal Programs Getting Back on Track in Central America, Despite Hurdles

A group of preschool students enthusiastically planted cucumbers and other vegetables in their small school garden in southern El Salvador, a sign that school feeding programs are being revived as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Struggle in Guatemala Offers Hope for Latin America’s Indigenous People

A struggle for the defense of their territories waged by indigenous Maya Q'eqchi' communities in eastern Guatemala could set a historic precedent for Latin America's native peoples because it would ensure not only their right to control their lands but also their natural resources, denied for centuries.

Poor Communities on the Salvadoran Coast Face Constant Threat of Eviction

Small farmer Francisco Martínez pushed his son’s wheelchair to another part of the courtyard of their house, located in a small coastal community in El Salvador, before saying sadly: "It would be a great injustice if they kicked us out of here."

Rural Communities in El Salvador United to Supply Water for Themselves – VIDEO

As the saying goes, united we stand, divided we fall, hundreds of families in rural communities in El Salvador are standing together to gain access to drinking water.

Rural Water Boards Play Vital Role for Salvadoran Farmers

After climbing a steep hill along winding paths, you reach a huge water tank at the top that supplies peasant farmer families who had no water and instead set up their own community project on this coastal strip in central El Salvador.

Bukele Speeds Up Moves Towards Authoritarianism in El Salvador

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, has been widely criticised for his authoritarian tendencies, but has said that the changes he plans will be long-term - which to his critics means a further undercutting of the weak democratic institutions that he has already begun to dismantle.

Salvadoran Migrants Still Look to the U.S. to Lift Themselves Out of Poverty

The Joe Biden administration's call for undocumented Central American migrants not to go to the United States, as requested by Vice President Kamala Harris during a June visit to Guatemala, appears to have fallen on deaf ears.

Community-Based Solutions Alleviate Water Shortages in Central America – In Pictures

Access to water is a constant struggle in Central America, a region with more than 60 million people, many of whom live in rural areas where conditions for good quality water and enough for food production are becoming increasingly difficult.

El Salvador’s Bitcoin Mining Proposal Faces Many Hurdles

That a country like El Salvador, poor and with many social needs, would embark on an effort to attract so-called bitcoin mining, which demands a huge amount of energy and does not generate large numbers of jobs, is an extravagance that many find hard to digest.

Families Search for Loved Ones Gone Missing in Post-War El Salvador

The pain that María Estela Guevara feels over the disappearance of her niece Wendy Martínez remains as intense as it was four years ago, when she learned that the young woman, then 31, had vanished without a trace in eastern El Salvador.

Water Harvesting Strengthens Food Security in Central America

At the school in El Guarumal, a remote village in eastern El Salvador, the children no longer have to walk several kilometers along winding paths to fetch water from wells; they now "harvest" it from the rain that falls on the roofs of their classrooms.

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