Cristosal is a Regional Human Rights organization

We are an institution specialized in the defense of the human rights of victims of different types of violence. Cristosal is recognized locally, nationally, regionally and internationally for the implementation of a human rights-based approach. Our programmatic lines are focused on: accompaniment to victims, study and learning, community development and strategic litigation. Our headquarters are located in San Salvador, El Salvador and we have offices in Guatemala City, Guatemala and Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Accompaniment to Victims

Strategic Litigation

Research and Learning

Community Development


Founded in the year 2000 by Father Richard Bower and Bishop Martin Barahona under Anglican inspiration / It was made in Usulutan, in community El Carmen and in Corral de Mulas, in opposition to the highway in the Jiquilisco coast. We worked with development analysis. 200 families were accompanied by CRISTOSAL in these communities / 2008: Community work in communities Jonh Cortina and Anemona were created based on community development work. Lessons learned / 2010: The first plan, strategic plan is made and the rights approach is addressed for the first time / 2012: The staff / is registered as a non-governmental organization in El Salvador / 2013- The global school is strengthened./ 2014: Institutional work begins as a non-governmental human rights organization based on three strategic areas: Human Rights, Communication, Assistance and expansion of the mission.

Father Richard Bower

Bishop Martín Barahona

Cristosal starts in the year 2000


Noah Bullock

Executive Director

Celia Medrano

Regional Director of Programs

Jeanne Rikkers

Director of the Research and Learning Program

Abraham Ábrego

Director of the Victim Support Program

Mauricio Quijano

Director of the Development Program

David Morales

Director of the Strategic Litigation Program

Armando de Paz

Head of the USAID Project

Carlos Sierra

Honduras National Coordinator

Board of Directors of Cristosal 2018

First row, from left to right: Noah Bullock, Kathy Veit, Rev. Gladstone (Skip) Adams III, Rebecca Livengood, Gail Wheeler Rolfe, Rev. Amy Denney Zuniga, Audrey Denney.

Second row, from left to right: Doug Mouncey, Rev. Thomas C. Ely, Glen Mitchell, Scott Pentzer.


Noah Bullock

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. That first year became more than a decade in the development of programs based on human rights to address the problems arising from the disaster caused by hurricanes and the development of the community.

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, while he also obtained a postgraduate certificate in Local Development from the University of Central America José Simeón Cañas (UCA).

Noah sees in the heart of Cristosal's mission the challenge of redefining human rights mechanisms and state responses to address today's human rights violations. "Human rights were taught to me as a historical process, and each generation must be able to understand human rights and violations in their own time." Our moment has changed significantly since these frameworks were established, so now we have the challenge to find ways to apply these same principles in programming to address the biggest challenges of displacement of our time due to violence, poverty and inequality. "

Celia Medrano

Celia served as spokesperson and director of the non-governmental Human Rights Commission in El Salvador between 1987 and 1997. She subsequently worked in the Office of the Ombudsman for Human Rights (PDDH) and as General Coordinator of the Commission for the Defense of Rights Humans. in Central America (CODEHUCA).

Celia graduated from the National University of El Salvador with a focus on Journalism and Communications. He also studied at the International Organization for the Right to Education (OIDEL) in Geneva, Switzerland, where he graduated with a focus on Human Rights and Education. In addition, Celia holds a degree in Administrative Administration from the Specialized Institute for Higher Education in Diplomatic Training (IEESFORD).

Celia has served as a member of the Advisory Council of the Central American Integration System (CC-SICA) and was the representative of Central America for the Latin American Platform for the Prevention of Conflicts. In recent years, she worked as Consul General for El Salvador in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia, and as Director of Human Rights and Humanitarian Management in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in El Salvador. He joined Cristosal in 2014, working on the design, supervision and execution of Cristosal's programs in the Northern Triangle.

Jeanne Rikkers

Jeanne began her career in human rights abroad as a community development worker in Liberia and Guatemala before moving to El Salvador in 1992. Upon arrival in the country at the signing of the Peace Accords, Jeanne became involved with youth and community issues focused on in human rights prevention of grassroots violence.

Jeanne served as Country Coordinator for Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ), and finally as Coordinator of Citizen Security and Criminal Justice in the Foundation for the Study and Application of the Law (FESPAD). In these positions, Jeanne was able to develop research and learning approaches on a growing problem of violence in the country. "I try to challenge the tendency in human rights to look for 'innocent' victims, this duality of good and bad, that we should only identify with the suffering of 'good people'," Jeanne says of her research on youth and crime. "All victims are victims no matter what they are involved in."

Now Director of the Cristosal Research and Learning Center, Jeanne guides the Center's research agenda using a philosophy of participatory action. This approach emphasizes collaboration on direct observation, with the ultimate goal of facilitating transformative processes in communities. "I am interested in using my experience and skills in training and research to develop the capacity of others to contribute to social change based on respect and the promotion of human rights." From her specialization in English and German literature, Jeanne says: "There is no better preparation to participate in the world than reading a good book."

Abraham Abrego

Abraham is a lawyer and notary. He obtained his degree in Legal Sciences from the Central American University, José Simeón Cañas (UCA), and also holds a diploma from the San Pablo University of Chicago (part of the Inter-American Human Rights System). Abraham is currently the Director of Victims Defense for Cristosal.

Before arriving at Cristosal, he was Director of the Study Foundation on the Application of the Law (FESPAD). Previously, Abraham was the Coordinator of the Criminal Area of the Legal Assistance Office at the UCA. He co-founded the first anti-corruption organization in El Salvador, Asociación Probidad, where he obtained knowledge and experience in transparency and anti-corruption work.

He has also been a consultant in several studies for public and private institutions. Abraham has extensive experience in training in human rights, transparency and development of national and international litigation in emblematic cases.

David Morales

David Morales is the chief prosecutor in the case of El Mozote. Morales has 25 years of experience as a human rights lawyer. Last fall, he helped expand the Christian Observatory of Forced Displacement for Violence to Guatemala and Honduras.

Morales was Defender of Human Rights in El Salvador from 2013 to 2016. Thanks to his leadership, the Ombudsman's office worked closely with Cristosal to publish the first government report that recognizes forced displacement due to violence. He continues to encourage the Salvadoran government to establish policies and procedures for victims of violence through their work with Cristosal.

"Civil society and our organizations can offer support to victims," ​​says Morales, "but in the end it is the state that must assume this role." Cristosal has set itself the task of changing public policies so that the State assumes the responsibility to defend the human rights of victims of violence My dream would be for the state to finally fulfill its obligations to families, to fulfill their responsibilities in a way that really helps and protects victims who have been abandoned. "

Armando de Paz

Lawyer of the Republic of El Salvador. He received his degree in jurisprudence and social sciences at the José Matías Delgado University and a diploma in diplomacy from the Specialized Institute of Higher Education for Diplomatic Training (IEESFORD). He is also a career diplomat with the position of Third Secretary.

12 years of experience in dealing with victims in human rights fields, especially with vulnerable groups such as migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons. His career has been developed in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, in the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the legal department of the organization's headquarters in Geneva and in Cristosal as Chief of Party of the Regional Research Project and support for victims of forced displacement.

Mauricio Quijano

Mauricio began his career in the private sector, giving business classes at the Universidad de América Central José Simeon Cañas (UCA) in El Salvador for almost a decade. He was then attracted to work in the social sector through a university project that created business opportunities in marginalized communities.

Mauricio spent two years working for the Salvadoran Ministry of Labor in La Libertad, and obtained his Master's Degree in Management and Promotion of Local Development in Spain. "Every time we work together, it's inspiring," Mauricio reflects on his work with the Citizen Training School of Cristosal. "People have the power to change your personality, make you more friendly and feel more joy."

Carlos Sierra

Carlos Sierra is a professional in management and development of initiatives on issues of comprehensive citizen security and prevention of armed violence from a Human Rights approach. With more than a decade of experience in social organizations, Carlos has become a leader in issues of security, justice and human rights in the media.

In his professional career he has worked for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation of Germany, the Center for Research and Promotion of Human Rights CIPRODEH and GIZ. As Director of Cristosal Honduras, Carlos Sierra is the executor of the regional strategy for the study and protection of victims of forced displacement.

Board of directors

Scott Pentzer

Scott is Associate Dean of Global Education at Tulane University, where he oversees offices dedicated to studying abroad, international student and scholar services, and ESL programming.

Scott has a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies at the University of Tulane. He has lived, worked and studied in Mexico, Peru and Costa Rica. Scott joined the Cristosal board in 2017.

Kathy Veit

Kathy Veit first traveled to El Salvador with Cristosal in 2007. She joined Cristosal's board in 2017 and was elected vice president in 2018. Kathy has worked in development for more than 25 years at Stanford University, where she currently serves as Senior Director of University Corporate and Foundation Relations and is a member of the Leadership Council of the Development Office. Her previous roles include work at the Haas Center for Public Service Stanford, the School of Humanities and Sciences, and the Campaign Program Meeting.

Over the years, Kathy has volunteered for various organizations on campus and in her community, including East Palo Alto Project Read, Stanford QSpot Community Center Board and Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist (San Francisco). She is currently a member of Faith in Action Bay Area, the Immigration and Refugee Committee of All Saints' Episcopal Church (Palo Alto) and the Alliance Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real. Born in New York State, Kathy has a bachelor's degree from New York University and a master's degree from Stanford University, both in classics. She lives in Stanford, California, with her partner, Heather Hadlock, and her daughter, Madeleine.

Amy Deeney Zuniga

Amy first came to El Salvador as a sophomore in college in the post-war nineties. As his first experience in Latin America, this was transformative, impacting his vocation to the priesthood and the context of that vocation. After graduating from the University of California, Davis with a double degree in Community / Regional Development and Spanish and with a Master's degree from Yale Divinity School, in 2005 Amy received a Fulbright Scholarship to study religion and social justice in the context of the Anglican Church. Episcopal. Church of El Salvador. With the support of Cristosal, Amy and her husband Vince stayed two more years in El Salvador, serving in the Soyapango area where Amy was ordained to the priesthood at the Episcopal Church San Andrés Apóstol in 2005, in the rural area of ​​Metapán, where Vince worked on an agricultural project and guided the US delegations. UU

Amy has served two Episcopal congregations in California since then, always seeking to build bridges between the United States and Latin America, as well as English and Spanish speaking communities within the US. UU And helping the church to fulfill its call to "strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being" (Book of Common Prayer, 305). Being part of the Cristosal board since 2010, first as chaplain and now as vice president, is one of the main ways in which he has done so.


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