Ambassador Manes visits several cooperation efforts in Nejapa

On April 12, 2018, U.S. Ambassador Jean Elizabeth Manes led a U.S. Embassy delegation to Nejapa to see firsthand the contributions of U.S. support in the municipality. This support comes from different United States government agencies, such as the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcements (INL), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and is in coordination with Salvadoran counterparts. 

Nejapa is a  municipality prioritized under “Plan El Salvador Seguro (Plan Safe El Salvador)”. The U.S. is supporting Salvadoran government efforts to improve security in El Salvador as part of the Central American Strategy support of the Northern Triangle countries’ Alliance for Prosperity.

Ambassador Manes’ began the morning with a visit to the Profesor Alberto Montiel Villacorta school. There, she met the program beneficiaries of the Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT), established by National Civilian Police (PNC) with INL support. The Ambassador visited a GREAT classroom in which a PNC instructor works with the students to strengthen their ability to avoid gang recruitment. Since 2010, more than 100,000 young Salvadorans have graduated from the GREAT program


The delegation also had the opportunity to visit a kindergarten classroom, where Ambassador Manes engaged in storytime with the young future leaders and donated 100 books to the school. She finished the day viewing a mime presentation by the school drama club.

Lter, Ambassador Manes gave remarks during a signing ceremony in which FOMILENIO II, Lactolac, and the Nejapa municipality committed to an investment of $20.8 million provide technical assistance for the sustainability of the Sewage Water Treatment Plant (PTAR) in Nejapa. The El Salvador Investment Challenge (API) and MCC (through FOMILENIO II) will invest $5.3 million in the project. Lactolac will invest $15.5 million in their plant located in Nejapa. This project will positively impact more than 16,000 people, will contribute to improve the business environment in Nejapa, and will help to preserve natural resources by alleviating the contamination of the San Antonio River.

Ambassador Manes also met with current Nejapa Mayor Sergio Quijada, and his successor, Mayor-elect Adolfo Rivas Barrios, to discuss the successes and challenges facing municipality.  In her speech, Ambassador Manes said, “I would like to take this moment to congratulate Nejapa’s Mayor for taking management in 2015 of the projects initiated by the U.S. government, and in the case of the outreach centers, expanding them. By offering opportunities to young people we help keep society’s most vulnerable citizens away from gangs, delinquency or poverty.”

Ambassador Manes took a moment from her schedule to chat with local small business owner Joel Elías Pérez, who handmakes wood projects, showcasing the talent of Salvadorans and capitalizing on the tourism that comes to Nejapa for the annual “Fireball” Festival every August.

To end her tour, the Ambassador had the chance to meet with Nejapa’s Crime Prevention Team Committee members at the Formate Center, which has received support from USAID.

Read the full text of Ambassador Manes’ speech here: