Cultural & Educational Association of El Salvador, Inc. is a non-profit organization started by Emilia Gomez de Portillo & Elmer D. Portillo. Emilia and Elmer were both born in El Salvador and we both, in different manners emigrated to the United States in search for better opportunities not found in our beloved country.
With hard work and dedication Emilia graduated from medical school in El Salvador. Through a rigorous process, she was accepted to complete her medical education at St. Joseph Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
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I, Elmer, came to the United State at the age of 10. Living in monolingual family and attending bilingual education, I was able to graduate from Jr. High & High School. My mother was very proud. The next challenge for me was graduating from the University of California, San Diego. In 2000, five years after finishing high school, I received a BA from UCSD.
It is our belief that through education a person can change their life. It is this basic belief that has led us to start CEA in an effort to help those who are pursuing an education to create opportunities for themselves. We know and understand the challenges face by Salvadorans in our current society. This is why our efforts to teach and educate the public in general about our culture is important.
A lost forgotten phrase that described our Country long ago, “The country with a smile”, has been lost in history. The phrase is important not because Salvadorans love to smile, but because when ask for help, we would help with a smile. When work needed to be done, we would work with a smile. This is how Salvadoran culture, its people used to be described. It is our hope that with the help of many others, we can smile again and when asked for help or when work needs to be done, we will do it with a “smile”.
The mission of CEA is to increase awareness of Salvadoran Culture & History within our local & international community. CEA will accomplish the awareness by providing Cultural & Educational services in our communities, both local and international.