The 2nd annual celebration of U.S.-El Salvador Friendship Day (June 15) marked 155 years of bilateral relations between our countries. To commemorate this day, the U.S. Embassy hosted several activities around El Salvador which symbolize our close friendship.
The celebration included the graduation of nearly two thousand students from the Embassy’s sponsored Gang Resistance Education and Training Program (GREAT) from the Plan El Salvador Seguro municipalities of Lourdes and San Salvador. This program is aimed at teaching children and youth techniques that will help them develop skills and give them options to avoid the pressure of joining gangs
The National Civil Police (PNC) K-9 unit also joined our Friendship Day celebrations with a demonstration of the abilities of these four-legged heroes. The demonstration excited hundreds of kids from the GREAT program and from the Police Athletic League (LAP) in Lourdes, Colon, and reinforced our messages that police officers are “Heroes in Blue.”
In addition, Embassy consuls hosted a live chat on Facebook and answered more than 200 visa questions. This was a special opportunity for Salvadorans to have their directly from our our consuls.
Through the U.S. Agency for International Development, USAID, and our partners from the United Nations Organization for Migration (OIM) and the Municipality of Mejicanos, the Embassy inaugurated the Santa Rosa Community Sports Complex. The Complex represents an investment of more than $600 thousand dollars, and will directly benefit more than 5,000 Salvadoran families. The objective of the work is to support the reduction of irregular migration, the social reintegration of migrants and violence prevention.
Then, on June 14, a team of volunteers from the Embassy, along with Glasswing and members of the El Trébol community, worked together to rebuild the community house and community library in Santa Tecla. In addition to painting, planting, and cleaning, the Embassy volunteers also donated 150 books to the library.
On June 15, Ambassador Jean Manes delivered another 700 books to the Municipal Library of San Salvador. She appeared on Hola El Salvador (Channel 12) to discuss Friendship Day and give audiences a better understanding of the history of the day. Later, she was off to Zacatecoluca to join a group of 200 volunteers, along with the Salvadoran and American military personnel of the exercise Beyond the Horizon 2018, who worked throughout the morning in the reconstruction of the San Marcos de la Cruz School Center, in Zacatecoluca. The celebrations culminated with an Embassy-sponsored party at the Orphanage San Vicente de Paul, in San Jacinto.