Women’s Healthcare Workshops in Suchitoto, El Salvador

This 4-year project began with a single workshop for midwives from Suchitoto and the surrounding villages, focusing on the topic of domestic abuse in the community.

Participants shared stories of conflict. They created scenes and used puppets to explore and relay their stories.

The midwives then saw the need for sex education in the community. We returned the following year and held group training sessions and later selected a core group of local peer educators to teach sexual health. This group formed the local puppetry troupe, “Las Estrellas” (the Stars).

The peer educators, Las Estrellas”, have since used puppetry in their communities to introduce topics such as reproductive health, adolescent pregnancy and sexual violence in settings ranging from one-room schoolhouses to regional health clinic. Recently the peer education have offered monthly workshops in outlying villages plagued by gang violence.

This project was a collaboration between Dina Kaplan, Professor Michelle Oberman of the Santa Clara School of Law, and sister of Charity, Peggy O’Neil of the Art Center for Peace in Suchitoto, El Salvador, with additional help from the Israeli Embassy in San Salvador. A special thank you to Sister Peggy O’Neil for hosting and encouraging these workshops.