As part of its Spanish Services program, the Orange City Library will host a free presentation entitled, “An Epidemic of Violence: Why are Children Leaving Central America?” The event will take place at the library on Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 pm. Free-will donations will benefit the non-profit Tortillas for Tepecoyo.
Brady Dyson, 2015 graduate of Northwestern College, was inspired to present about the situation in El Salvador after he studied abroad there in the spring of 2015. Dyson combines research with anecdotes and interviews from his semester study abroad in El Salvador. Orange City resident Alex Carpio, a native of El Salvador, and his wife Kassie will also be sharing some of their experiences and leading discussion.
Dyson reflects, “At the end of our semester, they asked us about how we had been changed by the program, and I said that being a part of this program and gaining such an intimate knowledge of the country and the people makes you feel accountable for what you’ve learned and experienced.”
In 2012, the U.S. saw a vast increase in the number of children migrating alone from countries in the Northern Triangle – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Although that number has decreased over the past year, violence in El Salvador has been growing steadily. Dyson will examine the push factors that cause child migration and the reasons those situations haven’t improved.
“A lot of people know about the child migrant crisis, but it seems what’s never discussed,” Dyson says, “is the situations that cause people to decide to leave their homes and make a very dangerous journey to the United States.” Dyson hopes to raise awareness and spur conversation about issues that seem to go overlooked. “El Salvador now has pretty much the highest homicide rate in the world. How does that not make our headlines?”