Creating Social Value Blog / Service in Action

The Babson Way at its Best!

El Salvador is home to a few tough gangs. These gangs of young men were initially begun in L.A. and Chicago. The 2011 U.N. study on Global Homicide found that Honduras had the highest murder rate of 82 deaths per 100,000 people, while El Salvador was second with 62 murders per 100,000. For reference the U.S. rate is 5 murders per 100,000, which is still too high. Everyone says the murders are between the gangs so there is no need to worry about them, which I never believed. In 2010, after a gang started fire on a bus killed 14 people, President Funes outlawed gangs and allowed the arrest of anyone with a gang tattoo. This helped over crowd the jails with gang members. Everything changed in 2012 when the gang leadership offered a truce on the fighting and killings between gangs. Some news reports that this truce was initiated by the government in exchange for better conditions in the prisons, while others say the truce was initiated between gang members in jail along with the Catholic clergy who serve the jail population, The result was a 70% drop in the murder rate per day going from 14 to 4. There are 9,000 gang members in prison and 32,000 members of the biggest gangs-Barrio and Mara Salvatrucha. The remaining part of the story is that the gang members behind bars want the government to help them get jobs when they are released. It seems like a good idea because if gang members live prison without a job they will return to extortion, drug trafficking and robberies of the public. BUT, many Salvadorians complain that with a 14% unemployment rate and a 65% under employment rate that they should get government support first.

This is our last day. We said goodbye to our masons and to our extended family of men, woman and children. I got more hugs today than in the last 5 years. The families of Getseman benefited from the work of Amy, Maria, Val, Paulina, Bonnie, Rosa, Lisa, Brian, and me. We left 2 new homes that are both close to being finished. We also left 20 entrepreneurs with small cooperative businesses in jewelry, clothing and artwork. These businesses will grow and help feed many mouths which makes me glad that we are part of this effort and the Babson Way!

Submitted by H. David Hennessey, Professor, Marketing