15 Houses of Culture close this week in El Salvador

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Fifteen Houses of Culture were closed this week by the Ministry of Culture in the departments of San Salvador, La Paz, Cuscatlán, San Vicente, La Libertad and Usulután, and for the next one the closures will continue, said employees of these institutions.

The goal, they assured, is to close as many of the Houses of Culture as possible before the end of this year.

“There are more closures, we can’t say where, because they haven’t sent the calendar, but they’ll close all those who are renting houses to work, there will only be those who have their own premises or are in comfort,” said an employee, who asked to omit his name.

Among the Houses of Culture that were closed during the course of this week are those of San Pedro Nonualco, El Rosario, San Miguel Tepezontes, San Pedro Masahuat, (La Paz); Santa Cruz Analquito, San Bartolomé Perulapía, San José Guayabal (Cuscatlán); San Marcos (San Salvador); San Vicente and Tepetitán (San Vicente); Berlin and Tecapán (Usulután), and Nuevo Cuscatlán and San Pablo Tacachico (La Libertad).

Last week, the Apaneca, Concepción de Ataco and San Pedro Puxtla were closed in the department of Ahuachapán. According to the employees of the closed headquarters, for the time being they will be relocated to other Houses of Culture that continue to function; however, they fear being fired next year, after the presidential and municipal council elections.

“They were well strategic because they first disarmed the Ministry’s union. Then, this year there was no budget allocation for workshops, the $2,000 funds they gave were frozen,” said another worker.

The House of Culture of San Pedro Nonualco operated for 43 years. Inhabitants regretted its closure.

Members of the Citizen Committee of the House of Culture of San Pedro Nonualco, lamented the closure of this space. “It is sad to see the House of Culture withdraw from this place. This institution served children and young people a lot, it was a learning space,” said Felix Reyes.

In this regard, the Communications Unit of the Ministry of Culture claimed to be unaware of the closures of the headquarters, but argued that the responsibility lies with the coordinators of each department.

Collective rejects closure

The Colectivo de Artes Plastic Arts and Sculptures Ix Yawal of El Salvador, through a statement, rejected the closure of the Houses of Culture, which they said, is being carried out without any logical explanation or firm argument. They described the action as a low blow and a setback in the area of culture and the promotion of opportunities for children and youth.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensa Grafica