Larissa Hotra

Larissa Hotra (Survivor Corps in El Salvador): Larissa graduated from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources in 2004. She worked at the nonprofit SafeHouse in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a legal advocate and as an environmental science educator to high school students. She then served as the Midwest campaign coordinator for Global Impact, a nonprofit that raises money for international humanitarian organizations. By night, she worked as the Political Affairs Editor for a Ukrainian Internet Newsletter, e-POSHTA. Throughout her time in Chicago she dabbled in everything that the city had to offer: producing a story for Chicago Public Radio on the Ukrainian diaspora; organizing and working with the Ukrainian diaspora through PLAST – a Ukrainian youth scouting; attending free cultural and musical events; practicing her Spanish language skills in Latino immigrant neighborhoods; and trying to play soccer on every piece of green space in the city. At the time of her fellowship, Larissa was in the first year of a Master’s program at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.

A Recent History of the Disability Rights Movement in El Salvador

18 Jul is an online magazine covering activism and politics in Latin America. I have been reading the magazine since having come to El Salvador to help me get perspective on the politics of Central America, and I have been keeping a sharp eye on articles about El Salvador. The topics lately have covered the upcoming election politics, the remittance industry, and gang violence, which is similar to what is covered in the conservative dailys El Diario de Hoy and La Prensa Grafica. There is another paper which is distributed only in the afternoons, called El Diario co Latino, and it tends to cover a wider range of issues, and with a less conservative bent.

However, in reading the online magazine and the papers each day, there is a dearth of information about the disability movement in El Salvador. I then began doing research into disability issues over the last twenty years and found little information outside of LSN that specifically discusses the evolution of the movement in the national context. So I decided to write a short history of the movement, and sat down with the LSN Director, Jesus Martinez, to hash out some of the smaller details.

The article, “A Recent History of the Disability Rights Movement in El Salvador” was published for, and will hopefully give readers some deeper insight into the disability movement in El Salvador. To read the full article, see
Here are the first two paragraphs to peak your interest:

“Many argue that El Salvador has come a long way towards trying to repair its disabled past by declaring itself mine-free in 1994, implementing the 2001 National Disability Rights law and ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007. The Permanent Table of the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights (PDDH) and disability rights civil society organizations such as the Landmine Survivors Network have led the struggle in Central America to promote the rights of people with disabilities and guarantee them “free and equal access to services” through the construction of accessible infrastructure and much-needed legislation.

And yet, El Salvador has only made nominal progress in implementing disability legislation and awareness. A census tailored toward understanding disability demographics in the country, implementation of current legislation, and a greater emphasis on disability rights as human rights will help to pave the inaccessible pathway towards more inclusion for all. The upcoming 2009 elections may also have a significant impact on the provision of disability rights in El Salvador…”

Posted By Larissa Hotra

Posted Jul 18th, 2008


  • Ahmed Martinez

    July 19, 2008



    Great inside look into the real situation of Survivors in El Salvador. I think you have been able to synthesize all the points involved with one of the many unrepresented groups in El Salvador. 2009 will be an important year for all of them.

    Please, keep the good job and keep posting. Send my regards to the nice people of LSN-ES. (2008 Kriete Awardees).

  • Great job with the article!!!!
    I was just reading it and I thought I need to check AP’s list of fellows and to send it to the one who is in El Salvador, but to my surprise it is you who wrote the article. Upside down is great source of information, and good job posting your article there.

    Best of luck,

  • Hillary

    August 1, 2008


    Larisa! Excellent article! I’m glad to see you got it into upside down.

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