We have two missions in El Salvador at Arambala and Tamaninque.  Both missions have always been committed to community development through pastoral and parish work with the youth, elderly and people with disabilities. 

Sr Anne - Rancho Quemada Village

Arambala is situated in the northern district of Morazan. From our mission sisters support local communities living in 12 rural villages - many in remote areas of the mountains, some not accessible by road. Travelling is even more difficult during the rainy season, and certain villages can only be reached by horse!! These villages include Talchiga where the community has been enabled to build their own school; Rancho Quemada where the local people have been empowered to set up an association to take on and run their own nursery school and Arambala itself where a town association is now responsible for the nursery school set up by the congregation.

Villagers have undertaken training courses in brick making, (adobe bricks made locally from soil and grass) and have learnt how to peg out foundations, build and often use wood cut from their own trees for projects.

El Salvador

El Salvador Outline Map
  • Population: 5,700,000
  • Capital: San Salvador  Language: Spanish
  • 36.1% living below poverty line
  • Most violent country in Latin America
  • 12 year civil year, which cost over 75,000 lives, ended in 1992.
  • Natural Hazards: Volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes
  • High percentage of population emigrate illegally to the US – over 700 people leave and try to reach the US on a daily basis
Ann Griffin welcomes one of the c

Also from Arambala, we coordinate and host an annual Ophthalmology project, which involves a team of expert personnel from the US and Canada where between 6,000 and 8,000 people receive specialised aid and treatment over a three week period.

In the village of El Mozote, the people are still recovering from the effects of the civil war and the biggest massacre of recent Latin American history. Approximately 1200 innocent men, women and children were killed in cold blood in a huge cleansing campaign in the early 1980s.

The exact number may never be known, given the enormous scale of destruction from bombs and grenades that followed the brutal torture, rape and execution of the villagers. Their housing, village infrastructure and any form of development in the area was totally destroyed. Against this background, the Arambala community of sisters and Associates are working alongside the people of El Mozote in a spirit of reconciliation and healing to support this shattered community as it comes to terms with its past and moves forward to an era of peace and development. 
Link to Discovery News Video and hear more from Sr. Anne Griffin about El Mozote on You Tube

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Name plaque at El Mozote Mural

See more pictures of the mural work undertaken in El Mozote

Tamanique is a small town in the mountains of La Libertad about 16km from the Pacific Ocean and not far from the capital San Salvador. There are between 18,000 and 20,000 inhabitants, many of whom are living in the ‘cantons’ or settlements which surround the centre. Although Tamanique is called a town, it is also a rural area and most people work at subsistence farming in the maize fields.

Tamanique was one of our first missions in El Salvador. A parish school was set up by the congregation which now has 340 students. It is hoped to expand the school to accommodate extra grades. We work closely with the town administration and our sisters are responsible for all the pastoral work in the parish.

In Tamanique we also provide some support to the local Ministry of Health Clinic and promote workshops on subjects such as Children’s Rights, Health Nutrition, Care of the Earth, etc., for parents of children in the school. Training leaders to provide workshops on human rights, working together for change, basic health care, accident prevention, etc., is also part of our ministry in Tamanique.

Sr Dayssi in the convent in Tamanique

A club for adults with special needs and a club for the elderly meet once a week and classes for crafts and sewing also take place.

One of our sisters works at a health clinic in Tepecoyo which is about 30 minutes from Tamanique by car but can take over two hours by bus. 

In October 2005, hundreds of people lost homes, crops and livestock in a triple disaster which hit El Salvador. An earthquake, a hurricane and a volcano eruption all within the space of a few weeks!! Many houses just disappeared down the mountain in mudslides. Groups of families were to be found trying to rebuild their lives on the mountainside in shelters made of cardboard and plastic bags. Following an appeal, our sisters in Tamanique worked with the local people in the rebuilding of many houses in the rural area outside the town. Families supplied some of the labour and training workshops were held beforehand.

At both missions workshops are held on a variety of issues affecting women and children, for example non-violent behaviour, personal development, leadership skills and information on HIV/AIDS.

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