In El Salvador, IOM Supports the Reintegration of Three Enterprising Women

Date Publish: 
El Salvador / America

A mother’s love knows no boundaries.  Proof of that, are
the stories of two Salvadoran families who, with support from IOM
offices in Switzerland and El Salvador, and the Canton of Geneva
through its local Red Cross, have set out on entrepreneurial
projects that have benefited them both financially and personally.

Two years ago, the maternal love of Natividad drove her to
migrate to Switzerland to be reunited with Cesia, her youngest
daughter who had left El Salvador in search of better

Maybelline, also a mother, decided to return to El Salvador,
along with Cesia and Natividad, six months ago through the IOM
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Project for irregular
migrants living in the Canton of Geneva.  Her love for her
daughter brought her back home, and is also the reason why she
decided to pursue her childhood dream of becoming a beautician.

The project provides return and reintegration support for those
who decide to voluntarily return home.  The Swiss funded
project provides 3,000 Swiss Francs for each returnee to set up a
business or return to school.  IOM coordinates the return and
provides the orientation needed for each returnee to create their
reintegration projects; it also purchases the required

“The support received from the Swiss Government has been
essential to providing an opportunity for social and economic
integration for these women who were forced to migrate,”
explains Cecilia Ramírez, IOM Project Coordinator in El

Ramírez adds that the persons who have benefited from
this project feel useful and are empowered to undertake projects
that were interrupted by unexpected situations that forced them to

Each one of these women has faced a situation that obliged them
to leave their country.  Cesia traveled to Switzerland hoping
to find work to improve her family’s economic
situation.  After living in a foreign country, she has
returned with the certainty that a better future awaits her here,
and that her seafood marketing business, established with support
from the IOM and the Swiss Government, will help her reach her

Meanwhile, Natividad has returned to her childhood home. With
her sewing machine and her stove she prepares food items to sell
door-to-door, and crafts and sells garments that are helping her
build a promising future for her family.

“Living outside one’s country is hard.  What
you miss the most is the food, your home, your family, and your
belongings,” recalls Natividad, as she talks about her
migration experience with

IOM’s Ramírez.

Maybelline is excited because she will graduate soon.  With
her new skills she hopes to find a job that will help her
contribute towards her family’s expenses and allow her to
show her talent as a beautician.

“School is very demanding, actually it’s a lot like
going to college.  Every day we have academic classes then
practice sessions,” she explains.  “I hope to be
an outstanding student in order to obtain a job right here or in
another beauty shop.”

Six months have gone by since these three Salvadoran women
returned to their country, and the results obtained so far with
their respective life projects have been satisfactory to them and
their families, but most of all to their country, which needs human
capital for its economic and social development.

For further information contact:

Adriana Granados

Press and Communications Assistant

IOM San Salvador

Telephone: +503 2521 0535

E-Mail: "">

Cesia works alongside her mother in their food business. IOM’s Cecilia Ramirez provides reintegration support.