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Indigenous heritage endangered in El Salvador

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Indigenous heritage endangered in El Salvador

San Salvador, Aug 16 (Prensa Latina) Indigenous and environmental groups in El Salvador warned here about the danger that the construction of a hydroelectric dam represents for the people and ancestral cultures.
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The matter concerns members of the Salvadoran Parliament who were alerted about the dangers of the project to build the eighth hydroelectric power plant on the Sensunapán river.

This 16-kilometer watercourse is located in the west of the country in the department of Sonsonate, has seven dams on its course and the company Sensunapán S.A. de C.V. intends to build an eighth one.

Inhabitants of the area are concerned about the damage that the project could cause to the environment, loss of agricultural production, water, and sacred indigenous sites.

The reality indicates that the hydroelectric project endangers the Tule, a small plant that is harvested in swamps and whose fiber is used to make mats and the “heart” to make yaguals and other handicrafts.

Thousands of people depend on these handicrafts to maintain an ancestral tradition and there are many who rent a plot of land to cultivate the plant, which is harvested every year. Many of the artisans, most of them women, support entire families by making hats, bags, baskets, bread baskets, cushions, among other products.

In the region there is a strong movement against the energy project, especially in the municipality of Nahuizalco, Sonsonate, where a generation of petates weavers survives, indigenous women who learned this ancestral craft from their mothers and grandmothers.

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