The Isla de San Sebastian, is part of the departamento de Usulutan, Municipio San Dionisio, Cacerios La Pirraya, San Sebastian and Rancho Viejo. Their inhabitants live primarily from fishing and they are committed to their families and to the development of the island. “The people of La Pirraya have been forgotten for a long time,” said an advocate to Latina Republic.
Part of the island population is comprised of families from the neighboring country of Honduras. These families moved to the Salvadoran island due to lack of opportunities in their country. The island is also home to migrant returnees, and a large population of seniors and residents with disabilities.
Due to Coronavirus, which triggered a state mandated quarantine, this fishing community has been unable to sell their fish in the ports, which has left them shut off from economic opportunities that allowed them to survive.
Before the Coronavirus, the fisherwomen, which includes senior fisherwomen and fishermen on the island earned about $1 a day for hard work. They survived from fishing: they fished, hunted for shellfish, cleaned fish and traveled to the ports on the mainland to sell the catch. One of the problems that they face is that they are paid too cheaply compared to the work they have to do to acquire the catch. Unfortunately, in the city market, buyers take advantage of them. Since they live on an island, residents have to travel by boat to sell fish and to purchase vegetables, breads and other needs.
Since Coronavirus, the population is really struggling, especially the senior citizens living on the island, are struggling to survive. Latina Republic has formed friendships and bonds of solidarity with the island’s leaders. They report on the state of the island weekly and on the well-being of the grandparents on the island.
This community is in great need of food assistance. $8 purchases a basket of food that feeds a family for 10 day. Please consider making a donation so that the seniors living in San Sebastian can have something healthy to eat, since they are unable to sell their fish.
Before Coronavirus and the quarantine order, the leaders of the island had brought to our attention the urgent need for the island’s main road to be paved before the winter storms, coming in May. The island’s main road was left unfinished by an earlier construction project, with huge potholes and lopsided piles of dirt. This is dangerous because in May the island tends to flood from torrential rains and all the homes get inches of water.
The most urgent needs right now are food support, followed closely by the main road repairs. Please consider making a donation.