Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Suchitoto hosts El Presidente Mauricio Funes

Today was a very big day for Suchitoto, as President Mauricio Funes, his cabinet, and legislative and judicial leaders came to town to inaugurate the Civic Month - September, the month when the country's indepen- dence is celebrated. The event was supposed to start at 9 am, but because there was a demon- stration and tire-burning in San Martin (by a group of campesinos asking for packets of seeds and fertilizer) the cars were re-routed to Aguilares and didn't get here until about 10:30. Meanwhile, the band from Cojute- peque, complete with baton twirlers and dancers, entertained us and the honor guard, in their hot red and black uniforms, had the sense to stand in the shade until the honorables got closer. The women's collective of Suchitoto prepared a huge banner (it reads "Women voted for this government. President Funes, we salute you and hope that you will secure the exercise of our rights.") and many smaller signs; they presented the President and cabinet members with the results of a study of women and demands for greater representation and equality. And yes, that's Sister Peggy O'Neill and Sister Margaret Jane Kling on the right admiring the banner.

Finally the President came in - he's in the center of the bottom photo, the man wearing glasses. I went back home at that point to hear his speech on television, and I could tell that the women would be pleased. He pledged to rebuild the delapidated maternity hospital, to help women secure title to their homes and to find financing to build their businesses. He also said that the liberty of Salvadorans today is menanced not by foreign armies, but by murders, extortion and crime and by the fear and insecurity which these create. Together, he said, Salvadorans can change these conditions. A good challenge for the Civic Month and for the next few years.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I would have known President Funes was coming, I would have shown up wearing my FMLN shirt!