Voices of Youth: El Salvador

After biking through El Salvador from the border town of Amarillo, to the beaches of El Zonte, to the capital city of San Salvador and up to Lago Coatepeque, we have had the opportunity to speak with many young people. Several of them have powerful messages and would like their voices to be heard in the United States. What follows are some messages from the youth of El Salvador to the youth of the US.

First, we spoke with youth from the streets of San Salvador. The following interviews are from young boys who live during the day at the Hogar Esperanza Para Los Niños, a shelter for street kids that provides food and educational training. (For more information about this place, you can contact Santiago Aguilar at angulosm@hotmail.com). All interviews are in Spanish - please click here for a summary in English.

Interview with street kids: [Ogg Vorbis Audio|MP3 Audio]

In Coatepeque, a community surrounding a volcanic lake just outside of San Salvador, there is a small radio station called Radio Fe y Alegria which broadcasts at 92.1fm. The station is entirely run by youth - all 40 DJ's are under the age of twenty-five except for the sponsor/director. Here is an interview with Dennis, a DJ who believes that free speech through micro-radio is an important way for people, especially youth, to have their voices heard. This interview is also in Spanish - for a summary in English, please click here.
Interview with Dennis: [Ogg Vorbis Audio|MP3 Audio]

Before the interview, Dennis and I were also discussing the effects that immigration has on people and countries. We agreed that many people are stuck between two places - they are disconnected because they are not yet a part of US society but they are away from their families in Salvador and are disconnected from their home country. Check out music from the band Los Tigres del Norte for many songs on this topic, especially a song called “Mis Dos Patrias”. There will also be a lesson plan on this topic in our Lesson Plan section - to be added when we get to Mexico.

For more information on micro-radio, check out one community radio station in the US and their struggle with the FCC: the story of Radio Free Brattleboro can be found at www.rfb.fm. See our Lesson Plan section, the lesson entitled Free Media (to be added soon!).

We realize that this is not a comprehensive group of voices, especially since we do not include women's voices here, but we hope that this will give at least a small taste of what young people in El Salvador have to say.