El Salvador: A Peace Corps Publicationby Peace Corps
The Peace Corps was invited to El Salvador and sent its first Volunteers in 1962. During the next 15 years, more than 1,500 Volunteers worked in 15- 20 sectors, serving primarily as project partners to government agencies and offices. In 1980, increasing violence prior to the civil war led the Peace Corps to close its offices. The destruction of economic and social infrastructure during the war sent El Salvador back to 1950s levels in most economic and social indicators. A 1986 earthquake destroyed much of what the war did not, especially in San Salvador. Moreover, widespread migration led to the breakdown of many social and family institutions and particularly affected youth and the environment.
The government of El Salvador invited the Peace Corps to return to El Salvador in 1993. The first Volunteers arrived later that year. They were asked to increase the capacity of local people in several priority areas identified by the government and later affirmed by civil society in the Plan de Nación, or National Plan, presented in 2000. The National Plan is a blueprint for national development, and Peace Corps programming is consistent with its priorities. The role of Peace Corps Volunteers remains to build capacity for local people and institutions.
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