Organization Strategy 2023-2028

white wave shape

El Salvador is changing. So is CRISPAZ. Given the significant changes in the country related to violence, democracy, and human rights, affecting the most vulnerable, we engaged our staff and partners from the United States, Canada, and Australia and organizations and communities in El Salvador to learn from the past and generate ideas to address these new realities with creativity and determination, to see what we can do to address these changes.

Since its inception during the civil war nearly four decades ago, CRISPAZ’s mission has been to build bridges of solidarity between the North and South, raising awareness of people in the North of the reality for people in El Salvador &1. The signing of the Peace Accords in 1992 ended the devastation of the war and created a democratic opening in Salvadoran society. CRISPAZ’s work of accompaniment became more focused on support for community-based alternative development efforts.

In the decades since the Peace Accords, we continued to offer opportunities for U.S. students, people of faith and others to visit urban and rural communities and learn about resilience, alternatives to violence, and positive social movements. We continued raising awareness and promoting human-centered [hyphen] approaches to marginalization, migration, and violence.

As the country emerged from the pandemic, we at CRISPAZ saw the need to reflect deeply on its impact. While COVID 19 was a shared experience showing how interconnected we are, it also revealed persistent inequities. Just like as migration, gang violence, and climate change are issues we El Salvador shares with the North, particularly the US, those most affected have the fewest means to address them

So, we asked ourselves: How can we build greater solidarity between the U.S., the global North, and Salvadoran people while at the same time empowering local communities in El Salvador? How does an organization like CRISPAZ give expression to faith-based solidarity and mutuality in the face of extreme rights violations, economic vulnerability, and social violence? What does it mean in this context to give refuge and amplify the voices of marginalized people? What opportunities exist in this new historical moment to foster greater peace and justice?

As a result, we articulated a new mission, defined our core values and developed a five-year strategy for CRISPAZ, in which we articulate a new vision for the change we want to see: a world in which people practice nonviolence to heal, build community, transform conflict, and foster justice. We hope you will join us on this new and exciting journey!

1 We are aware that while Australia is geographically located in the Southern Hemisphere, it belongs politically, socially, and economically to what is known as “the global North.”