WHO WE ARE
Cristosal was born in 2000 as a collaboration between Episcopal clergy in the United States and El Salvador. The Very Reverend Richard Bower, who had recently retired as the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Syracuse, and The Right Reverend Martin Barahona, who was consecrated in 1992 as the first Salvadoran bishop of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador, came together to form Cristosal. Bower and Barahona had become friends in the 1980s when they were both working for the Episcopal Church in Panama.
The organization started as a way for individuals and churches from North America to build relationships and share resources with the Church of El Salvador. Inspired by the Church’s focus on justice and rights in post-civil war El Salvador, Cristosal opened a human rights office in 2001. The El Salvador office allowed Cristosal to begin facilitating communication between Central and North America as the Church developed a voice on national issues.
In 2010, Noah Bullock became Cristosal’s first in-country Executive Director. During the second decade of the organization, we have expanded our work to include people of all backgrounds. Cristosal has grown from two to over fifty employees, gained nonprofit status independent of the Church, earned grant funding from institutional partners like USAID, pioneered models for cross-cultural learning, and become a leader in human rights-based development and a resource for policy-makers worldwide. We now work in Guatemala and Honduras in addition to El Salvador, continuing to expand our human rights violation monitoring system and sustainable and community models for the protection and assistance of victims of human rights violations.
We work to promote justice, human rights, and democratic societies in Central America, through strategic litigation, research, learning, human rights monitoring, and assistance to victims of human rights violations.
We currently have a programmatic presence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. We aspire to be an intercultural organization that inspires innovation in the field of human rights through exchange and collaboration between movements in the region and the international community. Cristosal’s technical teams are interdisciplinary with the goal of promoting diversity of thought and identity in the defense and promotion of human rights. Our programmatic approaches and strategies are recognized for being based on international standards of human rights norms, methodologies and principles that are applied with and for affected communities. Our strategies are constantly evolving to adapt these standards to the changing contexts of Central America.
All human beings have the right exercise our rights without discrimination of any kind. As the community of Cristosal, we do not discriminate, we do not exclude any person or deprive them of their rights based on physical characteristics, ideas, race, color, sex, ethnic origin, age, language, religion, political or union affiliation, place of origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Participation motivates us to engage in activities inside and outside our organization. Everyone can contribute to change and transformation in Central America in favor of human rights. We can all contribute to addressing issues with responses that are agile, effective, truthful and evidence based.
We develop personally and professionally through internal and external training. Through this training we adapt and acquire abilities, skills, knowledge, behaviors and values. This is carried out through study, field experience, instruction, reasoning, research and observation in the different areas in which we work, strengthening the knowledge that contributes to the construction and evolution of our organization and technical field of work, as well as the development of a culture of documented learning.
We practice and promote transparent processes by carrying out each action consistent with our principles and with transparency. We are accountable to the public for our resources, practices and methods.
We are always aware of responsibility. We promote participation in the strategic analysis process, we value dialogue and debate on differences of opinions, and we commit ourselves to assume and fulfill individual responsibilities as well as collective and institutional decisions.
Senior Leader Staff
All our collaborators are people committed to building a system in which people’s human rights are recognized and defended whenever necessary.
We are professionals who promote and defend human rights in northern Central America.
Noah first came to El Salvador as a human rights intern for Cristosal in 2005 after graduating from the University of Montana in Peace and Conflict Studies.
In 2007, Noah became the Director of the Community Development Program. Three years later, he became the first Executive Director in the country of Cristosal, in addition to obtaining a postgraduate certificate in Local Development from the University of Central America José Simeón Cañas (UCA).
At the heart of Cristosal’s mission Noah envisions the challenge of redefining human rights mechanisms and state responses to address today’s threats to human rights. “I was taught that Human Rights are an historical process. Each generation must be able to understand human rights and violations in its own time. Times have changed significantly since these frameworks were first established and we now must find ways to apply these same principles in programming to address the human rights challenges of today.
Director of Administration and Finance
Director of Protection
Director of Human Rights Research
Director of the Strategic Litigation Program
Director of Resource Development and Outreach
Flor de María Salazar
Guatemala´s Office Coordinator
Honduras Office Coordinator
Chief Legal Officer: Anti-Corruption
Chief Legal Officer: Transitional Justice
Chief Legal Officer: Impunity
Board of Directors