I have often been asked why I do what I do for a tiny country in a forgotten corner of the globe, a country that has been blighted by civil war, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, violent crime, gang warfare and poverty.
Since my first encounter with El Salvador, I was struck by a tiny country of extremes.
The beauty of its’ mountains, volcanoes and rivers versus the ugliness of environmental destruction and pollution.
The wisdom and integrity of campesino people versus the ignorance of those who vote for a government who erode their basic rights.
The life and vibrancy of the communities versus an overwhelming sense of death in a land that is literally bathed in blood.
The tremendous hope and spirit of a nation that has struggled for the right to self determination, versus the hopelessness of mass migration of Salvadorean young people to the US
In the end, with all its contradictions, El Salvador, the Bajo Lempa and its people inspire, humble and teach me that we in the Western world, do not have all the solutions. When allowed to do so, people can work collectively to seek their own solutions. Music and the arts are powerful tools to enable people to do this creatively.