|The Arlington Sister City Committee meets monthly to plan events aimed at raising awareness of policy issues affecting El Salvador, raising money to support development in Teosinte, and promoting people-to-people connections and cultural exchange between Arlington and Teosinte.
Community Awareness and Education
We act as part of a response network to contact both U.S. and Salvadoran leaders when human rights abuses and violations of the peace accord occur, such as recent Salvadoran Army incursions into repopulated villages. We also notify our elected officials when there is an opportunity for the U.S. government to support sustainable development in El Salvador, such as our recent participation in a campaign to ban environmentally devastating strip mining in El Salvador and to urge that U.S. development funds be used to rebuild community roads rather than a highway designed for the use of mining companies.
Money raised by the Arlington-Teosinte Sister City project is used to support Teosinte’s high school and university scholarship fund and to support various infrastructure development projects developed by the community. Past projects have included supporting a local mid-wife/health provider, financing a vehicle for emergency transportation needs, paying for water irrigation pipes to bring clean water down from the mountains to the village, and helping rebuild houses and the school.
Fundraising events include the sale of textiles made by the Teosinte women’s sewing cooperative, including purses, adult and children’s backpacks, clothing and placemats. Textiles are sold at craft fairs, international fairs and house parties. In addition, we have an annual concert that combines our fund raising and community awareness goals.
Communications and Visits
A group of Arlington volunteers meets monthly to plan programs. We maintain regular communication with Teosinte’s town council and the national network of U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities. Visiting Teosinte is a wonderful experience that enlivens the friendship between our communities.
Images From a letter exchange between Teosinte and a Thompson second grade class, February 2006