A community named La Virtud is located in the department of Lempira and is situated in a very peculiar place along the Honduran-Salvadorian border. A school sits atop where Honduras and El Salvador connect, the school is named Profesor Aquilino Abrego Sosa, and makes it so that in theory one classroom can be in El Salvador and the other can be in Honduras.
According to inhabitants of La Virtud for years students at the school divided in two were treated the same and the school was apparently kept in one location but lately Honduran students have begun taking notice of how Salvadorian students get schools supplies, uniforms, and snacks, while Honduran students get nothing. This has led to an imbalance where Hondurans want to go the Salvadorian school, which led to the number of students in the Honduran side decreasing which compelled the Salvadorian teachers to move their classes away from the original school and into a new location. That hasn’t completely solved the problem with some students of Honduran origin crossing the border. “I go there because they give us food, uniforms, and on Monday’s we sing ‘saludemos'” Says Yesica Orellana a student in kindergarten in El Salvador. Saludemos is the national hymn of El Salvador.
This community is dangerously affected by a sad history of children who are abandoned and lack the basic necessities needed to survive and thrive in schools: many don’t have uniforms, food, a bed, and in order to sleep they go onto hammocks surrounded by mosquitoes. These students go to class not very far from the excrement of livestock and dirty puddles while their parents search for ways to feed them and themselves. The natural environment they live in gets worse when it rains because the rain creates thick areas of dirty water and causes the Goascoran river (a river nearby that divides Honduras and El Salvador) to overflow without much difficulty.
Much of the region La Virtud is located in and its inhabitants go near are cold areas where jackets and blankets are necessary to be safe and keep oneself healthy.
Students lack backpacks, school supplies, tennis shoes for PE, and the schools don’t have libraries or educational materials. Not to mention the need for campaigns to educate students and residents of La Virtud about personal hygiene and dental health despite the fact that El Salvador does have such campaigns but they don’t visit every school.
Many children in the area don’t have clothes or shoes, not to mention toys since their parents aren’t likely to be able to buy them things to entertain themselves with.
El Heraldo reached out to the National Institute of Statistics (INE) for information about quality of life in this area and the population believed to live there (although it’s theorized that the number in 2015 was around 6,640) but the only information the INE sent them was information from 2014’s consensus for the region of Nahuterique. Information about this region’s access to education, health, and basic services is virtually nonexistent as is information about levels of poverty in the area.
The source for this fascinating yet saddening article is a strangely untitled El Heraldo article.