The UK Ambassador in El Salvador, Linda Cross, and the Project Coordinator of the British Embassy, Xavier Sales, visited the Progressio ICS volunteers both UK and nationals at their place of work in Santa Catarina Masahuat, Sonsonate, El Salvador, on 12 August 2013.

This is now the fourth ICS group that the Ambassador has visited with the intention of meeting the team, seeing the work and also to be able to visit the communities. The visit highlights the UK government's funding and support for the ICS programme.

Progressio ICS in El Salvador has teamed up with FUMA (Fundación Maquilishuat) which is working in (amongst other places) Santa Catarina Masahuat, especially in the communities of Los Shull and El Escalón, doing environmental damage mitigation work and natural disaster prevention.

The group of volunteers is currently working on raising awareness in the communities about the importance of taking care of their environment. The group is also planning to do research into awareness about environmental issues among young people in Santa Catarina Masahuat.

The picture was taken in the El Escalón school, where the volunteers were helping to level the playground area of the school and using the mud and dirt to fill in a retention wall that is being built to protect the school from landslides. Also as part of their infrastructure development work, the team has planted natural barriers such as pineapples and lemon grass at Los Shull school, to protect the School from landslides.

Also present during the Ambassador's visit were FUMA Director Magdalena Cortez, the Mayor of Santa Catarina Masahuat Bernardo Escobar, Progressio Country Representative Carmen Medina, and representatives of the schools and the communities.

Blog by Rocio Velis, Progressio ICS Logistics Officer in El Salvador.

Photo: Linda Cross with ICS volunteer Jessica Gillson.