U.S. Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resource, Heather Higginbottom, visited El Salvador as part of a regional tour in Central America last week.
During her visit, Secretary Higginbottom met with Salvadoran President, Salvador Sánchez Céren and other Salvadoran officials. During their meeting, they discussed the implementation of the Alliance for Prosperity, a plandeveloped by the countries of the Northern Triangle..
The US diplomat also visited assistance programs implemented by different U.S. government agencies in El Salvador.
Among the programs she visited was the Center for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she met with staff members and beneficiaries.This program is a is collaboration with the National Commission for Micro and Small Enterprises (CONAMYPE). This academic program has established a Public-Private Educational Partnership with 12 institutions, seven universities, four non-governmental organizations and a municipal association, and operates 14 development centers for micro and small enterprises in the country.
She also took the opportunity to see first-hand how the US government programs are working in coordination with the Central American Technological Institute ITCA-FEPADE to improve the skills of young Salvadorans. The program seems to assist young people to obtain jobs in growing clusters of the economy, including metalworking, information and communications technology and tourism.
She also visited the !Superate! Center Adoc in Soyapango, an effort of the Salvadoran private sector that seeks to give opportunities to young Salvadorans in essential skills, including English, computer skills and life skills. Upon completion of the three-year program, 98% of students have gone on to higher education or found employment.
The delegation ended its visit with a meeting with representatives of the Anti-Extortion Task Force Anti-Extortion of the National Civilian Police, who have received training, technical assistance and equipment donation provided by the US government through the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Department of State (INL). Since 2014, the Task Force has maintained a 96% conviction rate in its extortion investigations.
After completing her visit, Deputy Secretary Higginbottom continued her tour of the region.