The New President of El Salvador is Fast at Work, “We Are Going To Need the Support of the People for Upcoming Changes.”

President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele. Photo courtesy, Official Page, Nayib Bukele.

“We are going to need the support of the people for the changes that are coming.” President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele.

The 37-year-old businessman made national history as the first to govern the nation with a different political party from the two traditional ones that alternated in power since the end of the civil war of 1992.

Looking for change, Salvadoran millenials chose Bukele.

Born in San Salvador on July 24, 1981, to a family of Palestinian origin, Nayib captivated millennials through his use of social networks as a contact platform with the people of El Salvador.

Since coming to power on June 1st, the new President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele has been busy. He has developed a loyal following in twitter, where the president announces immediate acknowledgment and responses to infrastructural and human problems, and appoints the team members who will oversee his various projects.

Via his twitter account, Bukele connects to his people, keeps them abreast of daily actions, calls out corrupt actions, shares agenda and announces plans.

Through the online medium, the president also battles with politicians, dismisses people from posts, and defends his actions for the good of El Salvador.

This morning, he fired El Salvador’s Minister of Exterior Relations in the United States, Claudia Ivette Canjura. President Bukele stated, “she is my representative before the government of the United States and I have chosen to remove her. I do not need to provide an explanation of why I am doing so. ”

Her dismissal comes on the heels of a series of others.

Bukele ordered the removal of 15 directors of the Ministry of Education from public office. Following the end of the administration of former President, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, the directors  changed their titles to the category of “assistants.” The president argued that they changed roles while keeping  themselves on their director payrolls.

The news of the dismissals was made public this Saturday afternoon publicly, as occurred with other officials dismissed from their posts.

Tackling Corruption

President Nayib Bukele turned to twitter to face corruption head on.

“We have received information from the 3 State intelligence agencies, that two high officials of the @FMLNoficial are financing gangs in exchange for attacking @PNC_SV objectives, with the intention of destabilizing the Government. They are playing with fire and they are going to burn.”

In Support of Salvadoran Police and Armed Forces 

“The police department and the armed forces will have the equipment they need to do their jobs. I will make sure of that. We will modernize and dignify our armed forces.” Bukele intends to order new uniforms and shoes for them.

A twitter follower responded that it was a sad sight to observe police doing their jobs with worn out shoes.

When a politician accused Bukele of frivolity regarding his plans to provide new shoes and uniforms the president stated:

“Do you think I am asking for a lot? 2 sturdy uniforms and a pair of boots that will hold up the public servants’ thousands of hours on the hot pavement or in rural areas?

How much does one of your pair of shoes cost? I’m referring to the ones you wear while sitting, living off the money of the people?

Housing

He named Michelle Sol as his Minister of Housing, to manage a comprehensive housing project.

The Minister thanked President Bukele for this great opportunity “to transform lives, to help our people. We have only been here for eight days and I am happy to think that we will have five years to serve the Salvadorans. It will not be enough time, that’s why we will not stop.”

Starting out, there are 65 families that will benefit through the support of an American NGO that will help with the construction of two-floor apartment buildings thanks to the efforts of the new housing official.

“We owe it to them; to those who need us the most. Thanks to the community El Espino for such a beautiful reception and for all your love. Soon the 65 families will have their own decent housing!”

The apartments proposed by the minister will consist of, three bedrooms, a bathroom, a living room, terrace and a multipurpose room for the whole community with a park for children.

“In Nuevo Cuscatlán, we carried out a decent housing project for the families that needed it the most. It was extremely satisfying for me to be able to take works that transformed the lives of people. We have already started working to bring projects like this to the whole country, stated Michelle Sol.

Health Care Crisis-Lack of Access to Clinics and Need for Medications

President Bukele ordered the purchase of speed boats to serve as ambulances to carry Salvadorans across rivers to the hospitals for treatment.

Bukele’s new Health Minister, @AnaOrellanaB visited La Pirraya in Usulután, where members of the community asked for much needed transportation to take children across the waters for medical treatment.

Salvadorans joined the conversation on Twitter and offered Bukele tips on related needs:

“…..and in addition to the speed-boat ambulances, please send us fuel so that they can properly work.”

Another reader pleaded:

“Please don’t forget all islands, such as El Jobal, Espiritu Santo, and Corral de Mulast. We need clinics in each island for emergencies, a local clinic where our residents can receive immediate treatment as they await transfers to other medical centers.”

President Bukele acted on the request and blasted the previous government:

“So, the previous administration didn’t even address this issue? Where did the funds for health go?

“Minister @AnanarellanaB, please buy 3 of the best ambulance speed boats. Send one to the Gulf and another one for the Western region. If you do not have that in your budget, I’ll get it for you next week.”

President Bukele also added, “….In the next few days we will receive a donation of 40 modern hospital beds. Please send  them to the hospitals where they are most needed.”

 

On board with her president’s lead, Ana Orellana shared,

“Here we are, a 24/7 team at the service of our people.” We will do it Mr. President, we will work without corruption, taking care of the needs of the people so that our health system is a source of pride and not a shame for the people of El Salvador.”

 

Orellana visited the island of La Pirraya to supervise the execution of the plan for immediate action on behalf of the ministry of local health. The department is tackling health risks related to a growing population of mosquitoes, which has endangered the health of the 381 families.

Medication Shortages

In response to medical shortages, more than $ 52 million in medicines and medical supplies were donated to the Ministry of Health (MINSAL), reported the president of the republic through his Twitter account this past June 7.

“The Una Mano Amiga Foundation has just informed us that Cross International will give us another donation of medicines and medical supplies (aside from the 20 million dollars announced yesterday) for a total of 47 million in two days,” assured the president.

On June 4, the Jerusalem Foundation also provided a donation of medicines valued at $5.6 million. So far, these drugs have been distributed in two installments of $130,000 each to the national hospitals Rosales and de la Mujer.

Health authorities acknowledged that the first drugs that were donated have an upcoming expiration date for the month of November. However,  they will be consumed before that time. The Minister of Health, Ana Orellana said that this delivery will help reduce “as soon as possible, the shortage of medicines in the public health system of El Salvador.”

Cleaning Rivers and Building Bridges

When it comes to local development, Maria Chichilco, the abuelita and mama of El Salvador as her followers lovingly refer to her, has been named as the new Minister of Local Development.

 

During a recent visit with the residents of Villa El Rosario and San Isidro she learned that 18 children had recently died trying to cross the river.

“I am saddened and angered, Mr. President. I have ordered a permanent solution.”

Bukele responded to María Chichilco with plans for immediate resolution:

“In 72 hours, the construction of a bridge will begin in Morazán.”

Experts in bridges and hydrology from the Ministry of Public Works have inspected the site. The construction of the bridge across the Torola River is expected to begin immediately. The inspection was conducted at the point connecting Vía El Rosario, municipality of San Isidro and the municipality of Torola, where some 6,000 people live  at risk from crossing the river, especially students and teachers from schools in the area.

Bukele cares: “Minister María Chichilco, your request was answered by the Government’s multidisciplinary team. The bridge will begin to be built within 72 hours, “said the President of the Republic.”

 

Maria Chichilco, has also committed herself to lead the challenge of cleaning the rivers:

“Mr President, as you ordered, this week we begin a new project, an important one that no one has tackled before. I am informing you: We will take on the challenge to recover our rivers. We will save al Lempa, Torola, Sumpla and la Paz.

La mama Chichilco wants to end this type of dangerous crossing. Below, is a picture of a teacher heading to teach her students. Using the “garrucha” system is how children and teachers have been crossing the river for years.

Adding to concerns related to the rivers, a twitter follower asked Chichilco to champion a recycling project:

“Please help us forge the culture of recycling. Maybe place machines where waste can be deposited. A very difficult task, I know, but I hope you will find the support of the companies and the people so that they learn what the rivers are not garbage dumps. To protect the river Lempa, El Salvador will need  to negotiate a binational treaty on transboundary waters with Guatemala, so that the Cerro Blanco cross-border mining project does not contaminate it.

As Bukele begins week two of his presidency we support him and la gente de El Salvador. The conversation continues on Twitter, where we can follow his projects, get to know him and root for los Salvadoreños. With strong women leaders like Maria Chichilco, Ana Orellano and Michelle Sol, the future looks bright.

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