Building hope

Aid can provide temporary relief, but it can never be a solution for poverty. The Caravan is also engaged in numerous projects that encourage economic self-sufficiency in El Salvador.


The town of San Lorenzo

With the support of the English and Spanish-speaking communities of Toronto, more than $70,000 was raised to purchase four  hectares of land just outside the capital, San Salvador. On this land, 87 homes were built for families that were displaced by the 2001 earthquakes. The town of San Lorenzo was inaugurated in 2002 honouring the compassion and spirit of the people of Toronto.


The Apastapeque Fishing Co-operative

Founded by the courageous and tenacious Dora Luisa Baires, the Apastapeque Fishing Co-operative revitalizes the local economy of the region. With some of the funds raised by the Caravan to create additional fishponds, the villagers are able to supplement their meagre incomes furthermore. The Fishing Co-operative has also built a restaurant which serves the local delicacy, tilapia, and has built a Credit Union to serve the surrounding community.


Caminos de Esperanza

The Caravan also works closely with Caminos de Esperanza, an organization established to support the physically and mentally challenged, many who have been neglected by their families and communities. Founded by Dora Luisa Baires, herself physically challenged, Caminos de Esperanza is a blessing in the midst of misery!


Who would have thought that the Caravan would become more than just a cavalcade of decommissioned school buses traveling to Central America and helping to support various projects in the region. Over the years, the Caravan has blossomed into a Caravan of love and compassion, a Caravan that in collaboration with Radio Voces Latinas and the Latino community has raised:


- $37,000 for the victims of the tsunami in Asia in 2004

- $15,000 for victims of the floods in Venezuela and Colombia in 2005

- $30,000 for victims of Hurricane Stan in Central America in 2005

- $13,000 for victims of the floods in Bolivia in March 2007

- $30,000 for the victims of the earthquake which struck Peru in August 2007

- $10,000 for the victims of floods in Ecuador in March 2008

- $31,500 for the people of Haiti who were devastated by an earthquake in January 2010


In addition, we have:

- provided prosthetics for Jose Prado, a young, inspirational man from Colombia who was electrocuted and lost both his arms in this accident

- collected funds to assist a young Canadian/El Salvadorian woman, Enrietta Pineda, who was in desperate need of emergency medical treatment in El Salvador

- collaborated with a local Uruguayan organization, Mano con Mano, in the shipment of eight commercial knitting machines and dental equipment to Uruguay

- in partnership with Councillor Joe Mihevc, sent a container in December 2005 to El Salvador which included an ambulance, 150 computers, medical supplies, school supplies and toys

- shipped a container in December 2006 to Nicaragua filled with school and art supplies, toys, clothing, bicycles, and medical supplies

- together with the extended community, raised $6,000 for the family of Allan Castillo, a non-documented Costa Rican who passed away suddenly in December 2007 and had no-one nor any finances to ensure that he was taken care of with dignity

- in collaboration with the Emergency Medical Services of Toronto, Councillor Joe Mihevc and the City of Toronto, volunteers drove four ambulances down to El Salvador where they were donated to the Municipality of Soyapango with whom Toronto has a sister-city relationship. The ambulances were driven down in August 2008 and March 2009