US Ambassador to El Salvador, Jean Elizabeth Manes, visited the La Unión and Usulután departments in eastern part of the country to observe the implementation of programs receiving funding from the US Embassy in support of Northern Triangle Alliance for Prosperity and Plan El Salvador Seguro initiatives.
The first day of the visit included a meeting with the President of the Autonomous Executive Port Commission (CEPA), Nelson Venegas and other municipal officials at the Port of La Unión Centroamericana. She later met with the Mayor of La Unión, Ezequiel Milla. After the meeting, both the Ambassador and the Mayor visited La Familia Park — a recovered area that now offers a safe place for recreation. Then, Ambassador Manes participated in the inauguration of one of the four new recreation centers for children and youth in the department. Later that day, Ambassador Jean Manes and Mayor Milla participated in the inauguration of a sports complex located in El Centro neighborhood of the city-port; which is a recovered space that now has an open-air gym, children’s games, an athletics track, a soccer field and basketball court. The first day in La Unión ended with a visit to the Tropigas plant, a U.S. company located in the department where the Ambassador discussed trade and investment issues.
The second day of the visit began with a visit to the Outreach Center El Jagüey, in Conchagua. This outreach center is an example of the kind of positive work that municipalities, the private sector, and international partners can do by working together. The outreach center provides a safe place for young people in the community to spend their time. More than one hundred thousand dollars have been invested in this center, including funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the municipality and the Foundation for the Development of El Tamarindo (Fundatamarindo). These types of outreach centers are vital to eradicate the causes of irregular migration and lack of security in the country, as well as to improve economic development of the area.
Ambassador Manes’s visit to eastern El Salvador ended in Usulután, where she met with Mayor Miguel Jaime and discussed the cooperation efforts being carried out between the U.S. government and the municipality. She finished her visit to the east at the Normandy Cooperative, located in the Cruzadilla corner of San Juan, in the municipality of Jiquilisco, Usulután, in order to verify the progress of the Alliance Cacao program. The Alliance Cacao program represents a million-dollar investment that seeks to generate about 13,500 jobs and help keep young people away from violence. Cacao Alliance seeks to promote cocoa cultivation from the current 2,697 hectares to about 6,500 hectares in the national territory. The program positively impacts around 6,500 producers and is funded by US entities such as the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).