Introduction to team in El Salvador

Music for Hope’s teacher team are mostly made up of former Music for Hope students and are responsible for running our music classes and ensembles, organizing creative input into community events and evaluating our work. 

Tony Centeno

Music teacher and project coordinator

Why did you decide to get involved with Music for Hope?

I decided to get involved because through the music I saw the opportunity to help my communities and country. After the civil war in El Salvador there has not been an appropriate psychological treatment available to those affected. The government is doing nothing to improve the situation in our country. It feels like they don’t care education, agriculture or arts. Those are some of the reasons why we have the gangs problem, which is a problem that has brought death and pain to thousands of families in El Salvador. When I look at the situation, sometimes I want to leave this country but I stay because I believe that through projects like Music for Hope we can make significant changes in our society. Thanks to this project we are working towards violence prevention and teaching good values to our children in the Bajo Lempa communities. That is why I decided to be part of this wonderful project.

What do you like the most about the project?

I like it because this project really seeks to benefit the communities of the bajo Lempa , I like it because despite the economic limitations, the benefits can be seen and heard, and I like it because it is a project with its own identity that is evolving and adapting to the real needs that arise in our community. I like it because you feel a good work environment where the teacher has the opportunity to be creative and adopt the methodology that seems best, I like it because, although I do not know the team of English and Catalan collaborators, I know they want the best for my country as I want it. All together as a team we are working together to have a better El Salvador.

Eneyda Amaya

Music Teacher

Why did you decide to get involved with Music for Hope?

I decided to get involved because I love music, and I saw it as the best opportunity to grow my music skills. When I was child I didn’t have the opportunity to learn music because the civil war in El Salvador. After the civil war ended I took the decision to practice music and learn to help children. Now I am teaching music in the communities of el Bajo Lempa in order to be a good example for the future generations.

What do you like most about the project?

I like this project because it is a space where youth and children discover their personality through learning music. It allows them to have a better development of their mental health. I also love this project because it gives opportunities to everyone who wants to learn music and good values.  As a music project we don’t charge anything, it is free for everybody. Our economic situation in the communities does not allow to study music in a private school.,so this project is a good example of solidarity.

Wilfredo Rodriguez

Music Teacher

Why did you decide to get involved with Music for Hope?

As a music project I really like Music for Hope because I can pass on my knowledge to the children and that brings to me great satisfaction. I enjoy helping those children who have an interest and want to know how to play a music instrument. I would like to say that this project was the first project that gave me the opportunity to become a music teacher. That is why I really value this excellent project and I identify myself with it.

What do you like most about the project?

I like it because there is a really good relationship between teachers and the coordinator and there is always space to talk about different issues in the project. I also like that each teacher uses different methodologies to achieve their goals regardless of the different obstacles that everyone faces in the communities. We always show good results to the communities. I like this project because there is a really good relationship between the team in the UK and the team in El Salvador. Without their help we couldn’t help so many children in the Bajo Lempa.

Pedro Esquivel Chaves

Music Teacher

Why did you decide to get involved with Music for Hope?

Since I was a child I’ve liked music a lot. My grandfather was a musician and my father was also a musician. I think I have music in my genes, and when Katherine came to El Salvador with her music I loved the project a lot and there I had the opportunity to learn to play the guitar .

What do you like most about the project?

What I like the most is being able to teach music classes, I also like the transparency of the project – I like how well organized good we are and I like it because it is a project for children and young people.

Ingrid Vanessa Guevara

Psychologist

What is your role in the project?

As a psychology professional I promote the importance of mental health, and I support the teachers in the process of teaching in order to help make the learning methods attractive and understandable for the children. I also support other activities designed to benefit the children.

Why did you decide to get involved with Music for Hope?

My main motivation is the work I do as a psychologist and it is an opportunity to work in the area that I like, which is education. During my training I discovered that it was an area that attracted me a lot, but in our country educational psychology has not been an institutional priority, leaving the responsibility to NGOs for its development. Educational psychology is an area that has remained in the background of the mental health care. This is why I was motivated to be part of the Music for Hope project. I know it is an important challenge but this motivates me to support the boys and girls in the project.

What do you like most about the project?

The effort that each one of the members of this project makes to bring hope and life to the boys and girls of this project.  Music has been an important element to my work and it helps to heal feelings for children as well as helping them to express ideas and experiences that sometimes cannot be easily expressed. Music gives them an alternative way of letting others know how they feel. I have learned a lot from the project and the work they carry out to support children.

Rosa Marsiela Iraheta Marinero

Psychologist

What is your role in the project?

I have been part of the great family of “Music for Hope” since the end of 2018. My role within the project is to accompany and support children in the different music centres. For more than a year I worked with the Caserio Nueva Esperanza School Centre, providing individual psychological attention, working with caregivers, families and teaching staff, I also provided this service for 5 months in 2019 to the school of “el zamorano”. I also participate in the organization and planning of the annual work with the team of teachers.

Why did you decide to get involved with Music for Hope?

I was motivated to participate in the project knowing that it is an experience that is born as a service to the communities and it is a project with limited economic resources. Anyone who is working in the project cannot get rich and generate internal corruption. It is a project which I have been unknowingly linked for several years and as I have musical motivations, I always admired the work that has done. It also motivated me that the beneficiaries were children and that it is my strength to work.

What do you like most about the project?

What I like most about the project is that its main focus is the teaching of music but that it opens up to other artistic expressions and towards the training of the beneficiaries, also it takes into account the mental health of the children.