© 2013 Amy Kessler

Back in the Bajo Lempa

I made it BACK to El Salvador!  I arrived at the airport in San Salvador last night at 12:30 pm.  However, I didn’t get much rest as I had the privilege to attend a meeting with one of the national assembly representatives of the Bajo Lempa at 8:00 am this morning!  Afterwards, Nathan, the coordinator from EcoViva (the U.S. based organization we work with) drove me down to the Bajo Lempa where we were greeted by all the faces of the La Coordinadora and La Asociación Mangle (the local organizations we work with)!  It’s great being back and seeing everyone here, really reminds me of why I decided to return!  These people are so well organized and dedicated to promoting a better future for their next generation, it is truly inspiring.

I feel extremely fortunate to get to spend the next two months back in the Bajo Lempa.  As we wrote about previously, Team El Salvador 7 coordinated with La Coordinadora and La Asociación Mangle on three main projects last January.  The project that I focused my time on was to help assess the potential for ecotourism development in the area (you can read our final report on our website under the projects section).  One of our primary objectives was to obtain the communities’ vision for such ecotourism development: how they would like to see their communities grow and why. Meeting after meeting we heard the same message: to develop sustainably, protect the natural resources, create better opportunities, promote education, and always for the benefit of the youth/future generations/children. The communities’ emphasis on promoting better futures for their youth has instilled a core understanding of sustainable development. Furthermore, it has motivated the creation of programs to support the youth and enable them to pursue academic and career goals, which in turn provides opportunities for the youth to stay and give back to their home communities. We had the fortune to meet some of the young people who participate in these programs, and their determination to build better futures for themselves and for their communities was truly impressive. They just get it: the need to pursue education, to get involved in their communities, to protect their natural resources, and to promote sustainable development for the next future generations.

Most of my time here this summer will be spent helping to evaluate the Local Plan for Sustainable Extraction of Natural Resources (PLES): a very well structured policy that enables the local communities to benefit from their natural resources in a manner that does not degrade them nor prevent future generations from also benefitting from the local resources such as the mangrove forests and fisheries.  My work this summer will be in continuation of that which the Team El Salvador PLES group started in January (you may also find their final report under the projects section).  The PLES was created in 2008 as part of the Decreto 14, a national law that enabled the creation of local management plans for the mangrove ecosystems.  However, as Decreto 14 only had a 5 year lifespan, it ended in April of this year, leaving the continuation and legal backing of the PLES uncertain.  Thus, La Asociación Mangle and La Coordinadora, wanting to maintain the local management of their resources, has urged for the evaluation of the PLES in hopes to renew its legal backing.  I look forward to helping to support these efforts!


  1. Staffing Company
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 3:29 am | #

    Nice blog.Really this is very important blog.Thanks

  2. Логопед София
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 4:35 pm | #

    Very Interesting!

  3. juad
    Posted July 18, 2013 at 10:32 am | #
  4. niko
    Posted February 28, 2014 at 11:32 am | #

    great blog..
    must follow this blog..

  5. unicity
    Posted May 31, 2014 at 2:47 am | #

    thank you for sharing

  6. Swamedikasi Apoteker
    Posted September 2, 2014 at 4:11 am | #

    The communities emphasis on promoting better futures for their youth has instilled a core understanding of sustainable development

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