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CIS | El Salvador


CIS stands for the Center of Interchange and Solidarity. It was founded in 1993 after the signing of the Peace Accords in El Salvador. Solidarity groups from the U.S., Canada, and Europe came together with Salvadoran popular organizations to develop a center to promote people-to-people relations after the war. 

CIS seeks to promote solidarity and cultural exchange across borders between the Salvadoran people and other peoples of the world to foster a culture of solidarity that implies accompaniment, respect for diversity, relationships based on equality and mutual support between people, with the objective of raising awareness, organizing and mobilizing grassroots efforts for justice and dignity.

CIS began to work with Salvadoran Enterprises for Women (SEW); a U.S. based non-profit organization to develop women’s businesses in rural communities in 2004. After the earthquakes of 2001 and the repercussions of U.S. neo-liberal economic policies, hundreds of Salvadorans were leaving daily for the United States to look for remunerated employment. CIS was developing programs to support especially women and youth, two sectors most marginalized economically. CIS and SEW developed a relationship to facilitate strategies to empower women and generate income for women. They prioritize women in rural areas because of more limited access historically for women to get an education, the absence of employment for women, and lack of access to women’s training centers available in the city.



Training and fair wages for women. The training includes:

-Women’s empowerment and organization –through a series of personal development and organizational workshops developed by CIS promoters.
-Networking to facilitate training in different skills sets depending on the business the women would like to develop.
-Facilitating training in basic administration, accounting and planning.
-Developing a budget and plan to start the business to present to SEW.
-Follow-up, support, networking and further training as the business develops.

In addition, the women have access to a number of other programs offered by the organization including social and political justice programs.  


In addition to fair wages, CIS has seen the women's participation in this program building organization, self-esteem and improving the family’s economic situation, thus allowing the women's children the opportunity to attend school.


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