Seattle CISPES, along with the national CISPES organization, was founded in 1980 as civil war broke out in El Salvador. The goals of the organization were to stop U.S. government funding for the repressive Salvadoran dictatorship and to support the Salvadoran social movement as it put forward an alternative vision for the country based upon equality, social justice and democracy.
With the end of the war in 1992, CISPES committed to continue its work in support of social justice in El Salvador. Today, the majority of Salvadorans remain in poverty, while political violence, U.S. intervention and other forms of injustice have remained prevalent under the right-wing ARENA party.
However, El Salvador remains a nation full of hope for the future. The strength and tenacity of the country’s social movement inspire CISPES’ work and brought about the election of El Salvador’s first leftist president, Mauricio Funes, in March 2009. It is through direct relationships with progressive organizations in El Salvador, including the FMLN (Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front) political party, that CISPES continues its solidarity efforts in the U.S.