CEBES, a network of Christian Base Communities in El Salvador, began in the 1980s in response to the violence and repression of the Civil War in our country. During the 1980s and 1990s, the organizing efforts and projects of these communities were coordinated internally – among community members, priests, and allies. In 2000, some of those who had been involved in this process formed the organization FUNDAHMER (Fundación Hermano Mercedes Ruíz) as a recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) with the task of assisting the Base Communities. FUNDAHMER today is a foundation dedicated to serving and coordinating the Base Communities, which exist independently and have their own particular history. Our work maintains a spirit of solidarity as we implement human development and education projects. Together with the Base Communities, we build relationships of solidarity at the national and international levels, working in a spirit of gender equality and in balance with nature.
The poverty in El Salvador has decreased since the war, but education is still a huge problem for the people. Only the people who have access to the schools are able to attend them, and the ones who cannot travel the distance to a school or cannot afford to not work for their families are left without the ability to attain an education. The rural population of El Salvador has even less access to schools and teachers, and only a few students out of an entire village can attend school. The majority of the country is made up of children and teenagers who cannot attend school, and so the majority of the population goes uneducated.