Editor's Note
El Salvador ­Presente!

     As this issue is being printed, the people of El
Salvador are going to the polls to vote in that country's
first free elections in over 20 years. At their side are
literally hundreds of U.S. residents expressing solidarity,
both democratic and revolutionary, for the people of El
Salvador in this, their latest venue of struggle.
     The North American presence is the culmination of 14
years of effort to develop ongoing relations of solidarity
between the people of El Salvador and the people of the
United States.
     During that fourteen years, a unique coalition came
together to work for peace and justice in El Salvador.
Hailing from the ranks of labor, the church and the secular
left, individuals moved by the suffering and inspired by the
struggle of the people of El Salvador joined in sparking a
broad movement that would come to be known as the
"constituency of conscience."
     That constituency, though never formally united, made
common cause and found common ground in their commitment to
support the people of El Salvador in their struggle for
justice and a new society. Two of the three sectors,
religious and labor, came from organized establishments and
institutions. Their task was to mobilize support among their
own constituencies in an effort to change U.S. policy and,
in the interim, to provide aid and comfort to the victims of
the U.S. government and its allies in El Salvador.
     The task of the secular left was more complex. When
they began their work, no institutions of the left existed
which were suitable for organizing opposition to U.S.
support for the war in El Salvador. To provide that
institutional force, left solidarity activists created
CISPES -- The Committee in Solidarity with the People of El
Salvador -- to provide an organized expression for their
     Each group used grassroots organizing and work among
elite opinion-shapers and policy-makers to different degrees
at different times. Each saw themselves as beholding, in
different ways, to their respective constituencies in the
U.S. and in El Salvador. But each were part of a larger
whole, each drew strength from the other, and realized
greater success because none of them were struggling alone.
     In the articles that follow we hope to convey some of
the spirit, the flaws and the strengths, and the lessons to
be learned from the experience of the activists who made a
movement out of the cause of a people far from their own
land and lives. In making this effort, we make no pretence
of telling the whole story. In the brief space available we
hope only to begin the process of drawing conclusions and
lessons, however tentative, from the experience of that
     Whatever conclusions we draw, however, must be informed
by the perspective that we are speaking of a movement that
is far from dead, and will have additional lessons to
provide in years to come as well.
     As the hundreds of delegates now in El Salvador can
attest by their presence, solidarity with El Salvador is
only just beginning.
     And so are its lessons. --Michael S. Wyman, Editor, El
Salvador ­Presente!
     Michael S. Wyman is a former director of the Center for
Democracy in the Americas and editor of El Salvador On Line,
an English language newsweekly on El Salvador. Before
joining the center, in 1986, he was coordinator of the
Education Committee of San Francisco CISPES. He has been an
El Salvador solidarity activist since 1981.

     It was not possible in the short space of one issue of
CrossRoads to tell the story of every organization involved
in the solidarity effort with El Salvador. Groups mentioned
in the articles which follow and many others still carry on
solidarity work in the crucial period of democratic struggle
now underway in El Salvador. The more significant of these
are listed below. We urge your continued support for these
groups, and any others which space limits have kept us from
listing at this time.
     Central American Refugee Centers (CARECEN) is a Network
of refugee and community service centers with locations in
San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Texas and Washington,
D.C.  They can be reached through Rene Velasquez at 415-558-
7008 or Roberto Lovato at 213-483-6868.
     CDA/National Agenda, Box 29333, Washington, D.C. 20017;
Contact: Van Gosse, Geoff Thale; 202-319-4465.
     CISPES, PO Box 1801, New York, NY 10159; Contact: Diane
Green 212-229-1290.
     Companion Community Development Alternatives (COCO),
c/o Broadway UMC, 609 East 29th St., Indianapolis, IN
46205-4199; Contact: Tim Krause; 317-920-8643.
     Earth Trade, Inc., 150 Broadway No. 1104, New York, NY
10038; Contact: Mike Davis; 212-349-3355.
     El Rescate, 1340 S. Bonnie Brae, Los Angeles, CA 90006;
Contact: Oscar Andrade; 213-387-3284.
     Ecumenical Program on Central America (EPICA), 1470
Irving St. NW, Washington, D.C.  20010; Contact: Scott
Wright; 202-332-0292.
     National Labor Committee in Support of Democracy and
Human Rights in El Salvador, 15 Union Square, Fifth Floor,
New York, NY 10003; Contact: Ralph Rivera; 212-255-7240.
     Neighbor to Neighbor, 236 Mass. Ave. NE, Washington,
D.C. 20002; Contact: Shelly Moscowitz; 202-543-2429.
     Religious Task Force on Central America, 1747
Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009-1108; Contact:
Margie Swedish; 202-387-7652.
     SHARE Foundation, Box 192825, San Francisco, CA 94110;
Contact: Ken Jacobs; 415-882-1540.
     U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities Network, 19 West 21st.
St. No. 502, New York, NY 10010; Contact: Jon Haines; 212-
     Voices on the Border/VIDA Fund, Box 53081, Temple
Heights Station, Washington, D.C. 20009; Contact: Jennifer
Casolo; 202-529-2912.
     Washington Office of the National Debate for Peace in
El Salvador, 110 Maryland Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002;
Contact: Amparo Palacios; 202-546-3140