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International Peacemaker to shed light on El Salvador and its people

Ecumenical collaboration and factors influencing migration to be discussed

by Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service

Ingrid Rubi Amaya de Posada

LOUISVILLE — Ingrid Rubi Amaya de Posada will provide a window into her homeland of El Salvador and the factors that drive people to migrate to other places when she visits the United States later this year as an International Peacemaker of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Amaya, a deaconess in the Reformed Calvinist Church of El Salvador (IRCES), is one of up to 10 peacemakers from around the world who will be making in-person visits to congregations, mid councils and communities.

The program — which has welcomed more than 350 peacemakers since 1984 — is designed to increase understanding of peace and justice concerns around the world, broaden the sense of God’s inclusive family, and help equip the church to build a culture of peace and nonviolence for all of God’s children.

The PC(USA) has collaborated with Amaya’s church on various initiatives for more than two decades, including the construction of houses for people affected by earthquakes.

As a peacemaker, she would like to share stories about work that PC(USA) and IRCES have done together and to learn about the experiences and work of others.

“I want to contribute to peacebuilding and to generate the conditions for well-being, health and life in my community,” she said.

Amaya is based in the Nuevo Calvario community in a rural part of San Esteban Catarina, one of the oldest municipalities in the department of San Vicente. Conflict during the Civil War in El Salvador in the 1980s led many people to move to San Salvador or abroad, she said.

Today, high rates of violence continue and jobs are not plentiful, she said. There also are low levels of economic growth, problems associated with climate change, and an increase in poverty due to the Covid pandemic.

“These factors are among the main reasons why many Salvadorans decide to migrate,” she said. However, “IRCES and its local communities work through a series of strategies to address, minimize, and to the extent possible, transform the causes that originate these factors.”

Amaya strives to make a positive difference in her community through her work as a social worker, city council member and church leader.

“I belong to the church San Pablo Apóstol, part of the Calvinist Reformed Church of El Salvador,” she said. “I am a deaconess and member of the church council, which is a blessing for me, because in this way I can help build the reign of God on Earth. Through my church, I volunteer, organizing different pastoral and training activities with women, youth and children.”

She also helps people through her work as a member of the Plural Municipal Council. “I promote municipal development within various areas: education, health, culture, violence prevention and economic development,” she said. “I am part of the Gender Commission and the Municipal Civil Protection Commission, and I currently work in the Family Status Registry area.”

Being an International Peacemaker is an extension of her local work. “We need peace in a world and a country so full of violence,” she said. “I want to dedicate my life to this great and necessary mission.”

Learn more about this year’s peacemakers here.

The Presbyterian Peacemaking Program is one of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

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