13058 La Sala Negra

April 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

by Edu Ponce
with CINDE
Soyapango. San Salvador. El Salvador

Sala Negra is a collaborative project of journalistic research, difussion and reporting performed by RUIDO Photo, focused in what is probably the most disturbing realities of America Central: The violence crisis.


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The report

Central America is the most violent region in the world. Over the past five years two of the three Northern Triangle countries of this small region, El Salvador and Honduras, have had the dubious honor of having the highest homicide rate of the entire planet. Unlike other parts of the world, this phenomenon is not the result of a political or territorial. In Central homicide crisis is the sad symptom of a wide variety of social problems ranging from dysfunctional families, abandonment of the state, the lack of opportunities for young or poorly healed wounds of a recent history of armed conflict. This report covers the harshness of American violence that has become routine, in a state of normalcy that prevents the construction of structural solutions.

The author

Edu Ponces Roldan, founder of the Association of photojournalism Photo NOISE. Photographer born in Barcelona in 1980. He studied photography and photojournalism at the Institute of Photographic Studies of Catalonia. He has spent most of his professional life working in Latin America in the research newspaper Elfaro.net  but also collaborating with other international media like magazines and Gatopardo Process in Mexico, Miami Herald (USA), El periodico de Catalunya (Spain) and other media such as Human Journalism, Univision and CNN in Spanish.

He has received awards such as Best Photography Book of Latin America 2010 awarded by Picture of the Year International, a finalist in 2010 in the photography category of the New Iberoamerican Journalism Foundation, the prize “La Pepa” digital journalism awarded by the Federation of Associations Journalists of  Spain and the National Prize of Journalism and Human Rights of El Salvador presented by the UCA, among others.

The project

The purpose is to create violence-free spaces where fosters culture of peace and youth participation, and where they get higher education opportunities for their future.

The “Making spaces free of violence” is a program that revolves around a Reinforcing School aimed at children and young people between 7 and 15 years of Soyapango, mostly children of women street vendors. Once these children join public school at 6-7 years, alarming levels of failure and school dropout students and entry into gangs. The objective of the program is that these children and youth remains enrolled in school, improve their skills and further develop social skills that enable them to acquire a personal and social identity and positive self-esteem so they can have more opportunities in the future.

The 70 young people who are leading the project are residents of Soyapango marginal neighborhoods and communities.  A town in the marginal urban area of San Salvador department with features of overpopulation, unemployment, poverty, concentration in informal trade streets, lack of child care programs and gang violence (Maras). These youth attend public schools in the area and living in stressful environments with the constant threat of violence and insecurity.

Some areas of this municipality are classified as high-risk areas by the violence of youth gangs or “maras”. These hard conditions are intensified when referring to children born to mothers with no formal employment, mostly only financially responsible  to sustain the household.

The managing entity

CINDE Foundation is a Spanish non-profit organization whose main purpose is to support the work carried out since 1989 CINDE Association in El Salvador, through comprehensive educational programs for children and young people excluded social sectors and socio-economic programs for women in the industry informal, mostly street vendors in the capital, San Salvador.
CINDE Foundation was incorporated on October 20, 2006 and was classified as a non-profit foundation for the purpose of general interest, predominantly of development cooperation, by Ministerial Order of January 16, 2007 and registered under No. 28-1423 . It is registered in the Register of Development NGO affiliated with the AECID.


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