Resilience at the Roots

On December 8, 2017, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz joined lifelong activists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn for a conversation about international solidarity and organizing in today’s political climate as a benefit to support the work of EcoViva and our partners in Central America.

The video below tells the story. To donate to EcoViva in support of their efforts, click here.

From the directors:

"Resilience at the Roots follows a community in El Salvador, who, after fleeing government repression and spending a decade in exile, returned to their country to rebuild their lives in the coastal lowlland areas surrounding the Bay of Jiquilisco. But their challenges were not over; in 1998, Hurricane Mitch hit, and other severe storms followed, washing away homes, destroying crops, and burying the community in rising waters. They recognized that these storms were linked to climate change and loss of protective mangrove forests, and so began to organize. Today, the movement they started has succeeded in creating a network of vibrant, democratic communities that protect and restore their natural resources and ecosystems, and has grown into one of the most successful global organizing models working for climate justice."

Montecristo Update - March 2020

Although our chapter has not been able to travel to Montecristo, progress is still being made on the well and water distribution project. Enough pipe has been installed to reach the edge of the community, and as of March 2020, the community is using water from the well!


The first video is taken at the well site, which is in a cashew orchard about a mile away from the community. Here is a rough translation:

Shows pump working and walks along the pipe.

"Hello friends from Engineers Without Borders. Now I’m making this video to be able to announce that we are taking water from the pump to consume in the community. In light of the situation with COVID-19, we’ve decided to put the system to use."

"I’m going to take a look."

Opens lid of tank

Turns on and off faucet

"Here what we have made is in this part of this little table we put a pump, which takes water from this tube to send that way to the community, to Montecristo."


The second video picks up at the edge of the community. The rough translation is below:

"Here continuing with the tour, we can see the tubing going to the community there."

Continues walking

"Now we're arriving, it's been a long trip for the water to arrive here to the island community. The water is sent here by a pump."

Walks through branches

"To where we have a tank. The water arrives inside the tank, and later here we have looks at bottom spout to distribute it."

Looks out at residences

"Now we're pretty close to the community, but we still haven't achieved connecting it to the communal center because we still don't have the remainder of the pipes. But we're close enough to the community. So for the moment we are consuming the water from the wellI want you to send this video, Chema, to Mike and the team, that after a month we're consuming water."