Land Rights Now – Claudia Azucena Sánchez Cortez – Pipil people, El Salvador

“I want to raise awareness and urge the government to help us and grant us more rights.”­ Claudia Azucena Sánchez Cortez

© Lian van Leeuwen

My name is Claudia and I am a 30-year-old Pipil woman, on of El Salvador’s indigenous peoples. I live in Pushtan Nahuizalco, a small community situated near other similar small communities and villages. El Salvador’s economy relies on agriculture. The main challenge that we Pipil face, is that our rights are not recognized because we are an indigenous people. The government does not want us to count and according to them, we might as well not exist. Without the support of the government, we work without rights, and it is difficult to change this because our status is not recognized.

Since 2000, I have been a member of the Association of Indigenous Peoples in El Salvador, and I have noticed a change. In the beginning, nobody in our community believed in making changes to our situation because it had long been too difficult. But now, more and more people have started to join, to participate and learn about how we can find ways to improve our situation and make positive steps for more rights. Due to the country’s reliance on agriculture, the role of food is crucial in this, and the Slow Food network is an important support structure to help us develop this.

I share my story with many others, so that I can raise awareness about my community, our economy, and our country. I want young people to be more conscious about our situation so that they too can learn and join the fight to gain more rights, opening the door to developing their own projects and further cultivating our role in the economy.


Written with Nancy Monperousse

  • Did you learn something new from this page?
  • yesno