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 ::   El Salvador  ::  

Fe y Alegria in El Salvador

Historical summary
Lines of action
New challenges

Historical summary

Fe y Alegría en El Salvador (6Kb)Founded in 1969, Fe y Alegria El Salvador from its beginning has oriented its work toward the creation of popular education centers of various kinds: primary and secondary school, technical and trade schools, training in cooperatives and sports, and medical and social welfare.  Its activities started with three schools, four workshops and a clinic.

The 1970s were a decade of expansion during which Fe y Alegria took root among the poorer classes.  Aside from educational activities, Fe y Alegria promoted the establishment of medical clinics that offered medical attention free of charge in rural communities.  All this was done with limited resources and great difficulties, always relying on the generous efforts of several religious congregations.  Between 1977 and 1981 Fe y Alegria suffered political persecution.

In these years great emphasis was given to cooperatives, communal movements and pastoral action.  Starting in 1980 Fe y Alegria carried out re-settlement projects for populations displaced by the civil war and placed special emphasis on production.  In 1989 Fr Joaquin Lopez y Lopez, founder of the movement in El Salvador, was murdered by the military.

Fe y Alegria suffered considerable wear and tear due to the war and was in need of a transformation in order to meet new challenges.  In 1992 important decisions were taken.  Several schools were turned over to the Ministry of Education and, in their place, the Centers for Professional and Technological Development were promoted in order to give more emphasis to education for the workplace.  Centers for Child Development and Welfare were also set up to help care for small children in marginal areas.  This decade also witnessed: the beginning of the experience with Mobile Workshops to give technical training in rural communities, a greater emphasis on teacher training, and the beginning of the Mobile Re-education Program in Zacamil for high-risk youths.  In recent years we have worked also in strengthening our own administration, and we have renewed agreements with the Ministry of Education and with other institutions which view Fe y Alegria as a genuine alternative for education and social services.

Lines of action

  1. Basic schools in rural and marginal urban areas.
  2. Professional training centers offering formation in various technical professions.
  3. Mobile workshops which go out to rural communities that are unable to use the regular centers due to distance or to transport difficulties.
  4. Integral Child Development Circles (starting at 7 years of age): the Education Center for Everybody, in Zacamil, promotes the rights of children, imparts training and develops the initiative of young people and children.
  5. Initial Education (0-6 years of age): the Child Development Centers attend to the needs of the children of people who earn their living by selling in the street, and the Child Welfare Centers attend to the needs of children in rural areas, where the initial education is imparted by the mothers themselves, aided by a technical team.
  6. Street Education for Young Drug Addicts: we work on the street to re-educate children and young people who are drug-dependent, as well as to prevent the use of drugs generally.


  1. Fe y Alegria has labored to provide a variety of alternative integral services that answer the needs and the demands of the most abandoned sectors of the Salvadoran population, encompassing programs that attend to children, young people and adults.
  2. Our main areas of work are the peripheries of the large cities, such as San Salvador and Santa Ana, where most of the beneficiaries live.  We also try to reach out to rural communities which are neglected in regards to their socio-economic development.
  3. The new developments in the work of Fe y Alegria El Salvador in recent years have been the following:
    - Mobile activities in areas that are hard to reach, for example, in the communities of Chalatenango and in the prison of La Esperanza.
    - A program to rescue young people with drug problems in high-risk areas.
    - Creation of a hiring hall to help our beneficiaries find a place in the labor market.
    - Child Welfare Centers in the zones affected by Hurricane Mitch in the department of San Vicente.
    - Partnership agreements with educational institutions and organizations of international cooperation in order to carry out training of teachers and instructors.
    - Creation of materials on “education in values” as major popular education themes which are applied to all levels of work in the institution.

New challenges

  1. Strengthening the quality of education by promoting sustainable and integral human development.
  2. Consolidating the educational structures of the institution.
  3. Improving the quality of the interpersonal and interinstitutional relationships.
  4. Strengthening the institutional image.
  5. Involving the different work areas of the institution in the design and execution of projects.
  6. Creating an endowment.

Director: Saúl León
Oficina: Calle Mediterráneo, s/n, entre Av. Ant.
Cuscatlán y Av. Río Amazonas.
Jardines de Guadalupe, Antiguo Cuscatlán
Apdo. Postal 662, Centro de Gobierno
San Salvador - El Salvador
Teléfonos: (503) 22431282 / 22439738
Fax: (503) 2432239
Correo-e general:
Correo-e del Director: