History of Nuevos Rumbos El Salvador
2. Geographical location of project: El Salvador, Central America
3. Brief description of project: Teaching Focusing and Listening combined with Nonviolent Communication to people who might not encounter these tools otherwise, as a way of empowering people to reduce stress and conflict, and to get in touch with their own forward movement and creative thinking.
4. Description of communities where workshops have been given:
January to May, 2007:
Community development associations in 3 different villages in the Bajo Lempa region, associated with CRIPDES, a country-wide community organization. Also gave workshops to CRIPDES National staff. Did 7 or 8 workshops in three different communities and several for CRIPDES San Vicente staff
Pro-vida, a health organization that has health clinics all over the country. Gave introductory workshops to the paid staff and volunteers at Provida clinics in Nejapa (8 women), Ilobasco (7 women, 2 men) and Berlín (6 women, 2 men) . Also gave a two-and-a-half-day workshop to representatives from all the clinics (8 women, 2 men)
Radio Tehuacan: for the staff of a community radio station: 1-day workshop (2 women, 5 men)
Workshops for administrators (3 women, 3 men), vendors (5 women) and rent collectors (4 women, 2 men) of the Mercado Central, San Salvador. Two or three 2- to 3-hour workshops for each group.
Sendas para la Mujer: a women’s center in Santa Tecla, south of San Salvador, that runs groups on self-esteem, spirituality, addiction, using artistic expression for inner healing, for teens, women in transition, and victims of sexual abuse (8 women) 4 workshops
Staff of the National Mental Health Council (6 women, 1 man): 4 workshops
Group of therapists, doctors, and other professionals (4 women, 1 man): 3 workshops
Health promoters (8 workshops for 7 women, 1 man) of the Provida clinic in Nejapa, a town about 20 minutes north of San Salvador. Each health promotor works in 3 communities of 150 to 500 people each
Health promoters (7 women. 2 men) of the Provida clinic in Ilobasco, about 1 hour northeast of San Salvador (6 workshops)
Sendas para la Mujer (8 women), 4 workshops. Taught Focusing, TAE, NVC, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT)
Hospital Zacamil: Two workshops with representatives from all the departments of the hospital (7 women, 3 men), three workshops with the sterilization unit workers (7 women, 4 men)
Cristo Redentor church, Apopa, (4 women, 3 men), 4 workshops.
4 at ACISAM, a mental health NGO
4 at UCRES Aguilares
4 for the board of directors of CCR Chalatenango
For nurses at Hospital Zacamil
2-day Focusing workshops:
ACISAM, a community mental health organization (3 women, 2 men)
Professionals in San Salvador (8 women)
Sociology and Education students at University of San Salvador (6 women)
Community Wellness Circles:
4 at Pro-vida Nejapa (7 women, 1 man)
6 in UCRES Aguilares (10 women)
4 at Iglesia Cristo Redentor in Apopa (4 women, 3 men)
Emergency relief (Focusing and Listening workshops with refugees at shelters during the floods in October 2011): Aguilares, Nejapa, Santa Tecla, Comasagua and many other communities
Yara Jiménez and Melba Jiménez are certified as Focusing Trainers
Melba begins Resilience circles in the communities of Buen Pastor, Hector Lara and William Fuentes in the Aguilares region, an hour and a half north of San Salvador.
Nicolás Areíza and Beatrice Blake receive 40 hours of training in Focusing with Children from René Veugelers and Harriet Teeuw in the Netherlands.
Melba continues the Resilience Circles in Buen Pastor, Hector Lara, Willliam Fuentes, and with students at the University of San Salvador
Beatrice Blake travels to El Salvador in January giving workshops in Focusing with Children to 36 people from ACISAM, Fundación Quetzalcoatl, Las Mélidas, CIS and TDH El Salvador.
17 community health promotors from Pro-vida Ilobasco also receive the 12-hour workshop
In July, follow-up trainings in Focusing and Nonviolent Communication are given to 12 Salvadorans
5. Budget for projects already done or underway:
$1900 for 5-month stay in 2007
$3000 for two 6-week stays in El Salvador in 2009 and 2010, including airfare and paying local assistant. Beatrice was donating her time, but her living expenses were paid by donations from generous Focusers in Holland, the US and Japan. Transportation during the last series of workshops was provided by Sendas and Provida.
Beatrice’s housing in 2009 and 2010 was provided by Melba and Yuni Jimenez and their family.
2011: $8000 enabled us to pay Melba a monthly salary so that she could respond to calls for teaching Focusing and NVC in Nejapa, Aguilares, ACISAM and many communities affected by the floods of October 2011.
$8000 in 2012
$8000 in 2013
$8000 in 2014
6. Size of organizing team: Beatrice Blake, Heazel Martinez, Melba Jiménez, Yara Jiménez
7. How is your project meeting community needs?
There is a lot of violence in El Salvador, and people are looking for ways to reduce it. The pubic discourse and news emphasize violence and discord, creating cynicism and lack of hope. The country was divided in a civil war from 1980-92. Many of the issues that precipitated the war are still unresolved and many consequences of the war are unaddressed.
There is a new opening in Salvadoran democracy, due to the elections of March 2009 and 2014 in which the “other side” in the 12-year civil war (1980-92) won the presidency. Salvadorans are interested in learning how to move forward with the changes they want to manifest. Our workshops aim to reduce violence by teaching people the importance of paying attention to their feelings and needs, pausing, listening to themselves and others. Focusing and Thinking at the Edge help people open to new ideas that come as a direct result of their lived experience. Focusing naturally leads us to find possibilities outside of old patterns, and to have faith in the resources within each individual to produce change.
8. How were these needs identified?
First through conversations with Marcos Galvez, then president of CRIPDES, a large Salvadoran community development organization, in 2003. Beatrice Blake met Melba Jiménez, ex-guerrillera, in 2006, at a planning meeting with CRIPDES. Melba took a special interest in teaching Focusing and NVC as a way to reduce violence in society and pay attention to community mental health, which has very few resources in El Salvador. Melba used what she learned in the 2.5-day Focusing/NVC workshop taught at Provida in 2007, and talked to co-workers about the positive effects she had experienced in her life. She has gone one to organize workshops at all the organizations mentioned above. In December, 2010, Melba and her daughter Yara started giving introductory workshops on their own, as a way to reduce violence, stress and the lasting results of the war.
9. Through which kinds of organizations do you teach?
Community organizations like UCRES, and CCR, a hospital, the Central Market, the National Mental Health Council, Pro-vida (a community health NGO) and ACISAM (a community mental health NGO), Cristo Redentor Lutheran Church and student groups from the University of El Salvador. Our latest project would take Focusing and NVC into the schools.
9a. Did the organizations that invited you to teach, fund your project?
No. The fact that the workshops were offered free of charge allowed the organizations to experience Focusing and Nonviolent Communication even though there was no funding available within the organizations for such trainings.
10.How is your project funded?
Donations from the worldwide Focusing community, through The Focusing Institute’ s El Salvador Project.
10a. Are the organizations through which you taught willing or able to fund further projects?
Professionals in El Salvador have responded with enthusiasm to the Focusing Level One workshops we have given from 2011 to 2014. We still need to raise funds to pay for our workshops in the communities. Pro-vida submitted a proposal to the Spanish NGO ANESVAD to fund our workshops in 2012, but because of the financial crisis in Spain, it was not accepted. We have submitted proposals to other foundations, but have not yet been funded.
11. What does the project need in order to assure continuity?
Certification training in El Salvador, advanced training in Focusing with Children and funding for Salvadoran staff.
Proposed yearly budget: $100,000.00