Coffee Talk: 'Is Peace Holding in El Salvador?'

Rockford Peace & Justice will host a peace activist who worked in El Salvador at the next Coffee Talk, Monday, May 16, 7:30 pm. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, 4848 Turner St.

Special guest will be Libby Pappalando, who worked in social justice for 21 years beginning with the war in El Salvador in the ’80s. She traveled to that country three times with the Share Foundation and once with Sister Cities, each time meeting with grass-roots organizations. The goal was to enable the Salvadoran poor to find a means of supporting their families. The group also visited rural communities and met with the U.S. Ambassador and head of USAID.

After several visits to El Salvador, Pappalando started a McHenry County sister city to the village of Chilama, located in a remote mountainous area near the Pacific Ocean. Chilama has no school, no clinic, no road, and no potable water, but the Chilamans are well educated in the effects of globalization on their community.

Pappalando says, “Although Dick Cheney refers to El Salvador as a success story, poverty is worse than before the war, and the rate of violent street crime is among the worst in the world.”

Pappalando will show slides of the area to illustrate her presentation.

Coffee Talks are free and open to the public and presented every Monday evening, 7:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford, 4848 Turner St. Rockford Peace & Justice Action Committee sponsors the Coffee Talks, with an assist from Rockford Urban Ministries, the Social Responsibilities Committee of the UU Church, and friends of George LaForrest and Rev. John Breck.

For more information, call Stanley Campbell, director of Rockford Urban Ministries, at 964-7111.

From the May 11-17, 2005, issue

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