Centro Ignacio Ellacuría

Centro Ignacio Ellcuría (CIE) is a center based at the Central American University (UCA) in El Salvador that promotes the development of international solidarity. Founded in 2018, CIE builds on the legacy of Santa Clara University’s Casa de la Solidaridad study abroad program in El Salvador.

The mission of CIE is to develop programs that integrate the exploration of faith and the promotion of justice through education based on a liberating practice that connects the national reality of El Salvador with academics.

CIE’s vision is inspired by the martyrs of the UCA and the Jesuit educational tradition; the mission of the Center is to promote the formation of competent, conscious, compassionate and committed leaders.

CIE is committed to (a) receiving and facilitating conversations with visiting delegations and maintaining ongoing contact with groups once they leave; (b) creating opportunities for Jesuits in formation to visit and learn about the Salvadoran reality, the legacy of the Salvadoran martyrs (Monseñor Romero, UCA, etc.), the Center’s praxis-based pedagogy rooted in the Jesuit tradition, and the work of the Central American Province; (c) supporting faculty and staff from Jesuit colleges and universities who want to visit and conduct research in communities suffering from conditions of poverty; and (d) co-designing academic programs in collaboration with other Jesuit colleges and universities.

CIE’s initial three programs are:

Casa de las Américas: a semester-long study abroad program for students from Jesuit universities around the world, which integrates accompaniment with those living in poverty, rigorous academic reflection and study, living simply in community, and fostering spirituality;

Programa Ellacuría: a 5-week formation program for UCA students to learn about the national reality through direct contact with people experiencing the impacts of poverty;

Graduate Volunteer Program: a volunteer program for graduate students who wish to create peaceful, creative, and sustainable responses to the current reality of El Salvador. The program offers participants the opportunity to accompany a community in Chalatenango for nine months while participating in environmental, educational and economic projects.

Trena and Kevin Yonkers-Talz, former co-directors of the Casa de la Solidaridad program, are the co-founders and co-directors of CIE.

To learn more about CIE, visit: www.uca.edu.sv/cie (in Spanish).

[This post was adapted with information from Ignatian Solidarity Network and Centro Ignacio Ellacuría.]