Oberlin in Solidarity with El Salvador (OSES) is an organization that works both on and off-campus. Our Winter Term program involves spending several weeks in the community of Santa Marta, operating on a "solidarity not charity" model. Rather than doing "service," OSES has been going to Santa Marta for over ten years to learn about Santa Marta's history of organizing and resistance. Santa Marta is a repopulated community; the community was forced to evacuate in 1981. Many of the people living in Santa Marta today remember crossing the Lempa River, under army fire from both sides, to get to Honduras, where they stayed as refugees for six years, until returning in 1987. While in Santa Marta, the student-led group of about 8-12 participants will live with host families, be placed in various organized areas of the community (a greenhouse, a community radio station, a health clinic, and an organization that works with LGBTQ and HIV-positive people). Through interviews with community members and visits to historical sites and museums, we will learn about state terrorism during the civil war of the 1980s, the impacts of U.S. military and economic imperialism, and the continuing ways in which community members have politically organized for human rights struggles. We go to Santa Marta to continue a decade-long relationship with the people, to learn about the people's fight for dignity, and to understand the ways that they are impacted by capitalism and the U.S. empire. Along the way, we form strong relationships with Santamarteña/os and one another which can then serve as a foundation for solidarity work back on campus.
Number of students:
January 3rd - January 27th, 2020
Student leader: Jasper Perry-Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org
Academic Sponsor: Sebastiaan Faber (Sebastiaan.Faber@oberlin.edu
Please note that additional funding may be available to support students with the project fee and/or airfare. Please contact the student leaders listed above for more info.