March 21, 2016

“Where you live shouldn’t determine whether you live,” is a quotation often heard in global health circles, often espoused by the Irish rock star, Bono and his ONE Campaign. But the mantra is especially poignant in countries such as El Salvador.

The Central America Four (CA-4) region (El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua), with a population of 37 million, and additional 5 million immigrants in the U.S., is one of the principal low/middle income regions in the western hemisphere. El Salvador is representative, as one of the most difficult countries to live in worldwide, suffering from the violence of poverty, gang warfare, and the recent civil wars. In fact, for adolescents, reminiscent of the civil war years, there are stark choices: join a gang, face daily intimidation and violence, or emigrate.