Be a Long Term Volunteer for the CIS in El Salvador

The Center of Interchange and Solidarity – CIS-   invites you to participate in the

12TH CIS International Election Observer Mission

Human Rights and Elections in El Salvador 2018:


As an Observer:  February 26 – March 6, 2018 (arrival and departure dates)

As a long term Volunteer:   January 1 – March 25th (arrival and departure dates)

Special Pre-election Spanish Course February 11th (arrival) –Feb. 25th 


In the upcoming election, the people of El Salvador will elect all members of the 262 municipal councils and 84 Legislative Deputies. These elections come in the context of U.S. policies of deportation of hard working Salvadorans as well as criminal elements back to El Salvador, an economic crisis as well as continued social and economic violence. The elections will take place with the use of new Electoral Code and many changes in the system as well as drastic budget cuts made to the Electoral Process. It will also be a referendum on two FMLN presidencies and important social programs that have been implemented including, school uniforms and supplies, agricultural subsidies, modernization of highways and transportation system, health care extended to rural areas, and distribution of land titles to rural communities and farmers, a law and institution for youth, and other important social policies.In these elections, El Salvador votes for candidates for the political structures closest to the people. International observers have been a key component in preventing electoral fraud and recommending improvements in the process in the years since the end of the civil war. 

The CIS program will set up important meetings and trainings for observers as well as opportunities to visit communities and learn more about Salvadoran reality.    Observers will meet and be trained by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the official electoral body in charge of elections, Political Parties competing in the elections, Election oversight boards, the Human Rights Procurators Office, and other institutions at the national and local level.  CIS observers will be well trained and play an important roll sharing objective observations and recommendations for reforms. 

We will also focus visits and analysis during the program on the impact of increased deportations of immigrants and gang members.   We will visit communities affected by immigration and deportation as well as CIS empowerment programs that generate alternatives to migration and violence.

In country Program Fees:  (this does not include flights to and from El Salvador.  You are responsible for booking and paying for your own flight on the recommended days.  If you arrive early or stay late, the CIS can make additional hotel reservations for you upon request and let you know the additional costs).  Please send your applications as soon as possible, but at least one month prior to start date.  Fees will be due one month prior to program start date, or paid upon arrival for those who cannot send a check or pay on line in advance. 

Observer Program:   February 26 – March 6. We recommend that you arrive in the morning or midday flight on February 26 to get full orientation and depart on the afternoon flight March 6th so you can participate in the Tuesday morning press conference.  Per Person cost for participation in program, translation, meals, all in country transportation from Feb 26 – March 6:

 $900 – single room accommodation

$800 Double occupancy room

$700 Shared room (3-5 people)

$575 if you have your own housing.  Breakfast will not be included, and you will have to get to the CIS or the Observer Hotel at indicated departure time.  CIS will drop you off at your home in the evening.

Observer applications due by January 26th, 2018.

Special pre-election Spanish Course:   February 11th – 25th, $ 600, includesregistration, Spanish classes Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 12 noon; afternoon and weekend Social Cultural Program, homestay with Salvadoran family, breakfast and dinner.  Students will be responsible for getting to and from the school - usually in walking distance or $.35 bus ride; and for their lunches.

Applications due by January 11, 2018.

Long term Volunteers: will not be required to pay program fees.  They will be responsible for covering flights and room and board expenses.  CIS can arrange special discount family stay for long term volunteers for $80 per week including breakfast and dinner; or $50 per week with no meals included.  Spanish is a requirement to be a long term volunteer.  Applications due by Dec.1, 2017

You can download an application form ( or can request an application form for the CIS International Election Observation Mission

To request an application form, more info and to send application to:

You can also participate by sending a DONATION to the “CIS Fund for Democratic Participation”, which provides partial scholarships and support for long term volunteers. Checks can be made out to LOS OLIVOS CIS and mailed to:

Please send fees to:  LOS OLIVOS CIS / P.O. BOX 76 / Westmont, IL 60559 or pay on-line:

****Come next year and check out the updated info HERE now!****

For more information, please visit our website,