The WINTA Project has been set up as a platform to share stories and ideas that are worth sharing, but do not often receive the mainstream media attention they deserve, particularly within UK-based media. On here, using WINTA Stories, we will share stories that we believe deserve to be heard, straight from the people to whom they belong. WINTA Stories will initially consist of content from contributors within El Salvador and then expand onwards from there to include more contributions from other communities, countries and perspectives. Additionally we will be using the Blog to write about our own personal reflections on our time in El Salvador and wider topics of interest.
We developed the idea for WINTA after having talked extensively about our time working in El Salvador and subsequently finding very limited positive media representation of the country we had come to love.
Whilst the initial focus is to spread positivity and good news stories about El Salvador, we have deliberately named the project with ambiguity. This is so we do not limit the scope or potential of the project to one area. Ultimately we would love to publish about an expansive range of subjects, not solely related to El Salvador, but any topic that we (or you!) feel is un-, under, or mis-represented. Additionally we would love for WINTA to become a hub of user-generated content so you can share your opinions about anything no-one is talking about.
We are aware that this is an unusual time in terms of the global geo-political situation. We believe that in order to work towards a more just and equal world, it is important to share positive, human stories of people working for these objectives in their communities, regions, countries, or for the world as a whole, in order to exchange ideas, focus on the good, and not allow these actions, however small, to be lost. We also believe that, by opening discussion on things not widely spoken about, we can challenge ourselves and our ideas, learn, develop, and work together.
For clarity, part of the project is us writing about our experiences here in El Salvador and Central America (the Blog), but the larger part, WINTA Stories, is to present news from, stories about, interviews with, and pieces written by, the people who are best placed to share informed opinions about El Salvador and the other subjects that this project hopes to cover.
Whilst working in El Salvador and Central America, we will inevitably come up against difficulties in terms of our interpretation, editing and translating of stories. We are strongly committed to ensuring that throughout this process our own mark on contributions remains as limited as possible. We therefore will aim to translate as directly as possible, and will always welcome suggestions where improvements to this can be made. That being said, we still retain editorial control over the content of this website and may edit where appropriate to ensure consistency, fluidity and a broader alignment with the goals of the project.
An additional and potentially commercial part of this project is to post reviews and/or information about a variety of equipment used in the production of the project. There is a gap in the market for useful information or tips for equipment used when travelling.
Further, some of the articles posted on this website may be submitted to third-party publications in exchange for payment, goods or services. This will have no bearing on the opinions expressed or quality and integrity of any content. The project would go ahead regardless of any outside contribution, but these contributions and exchanges go a long way to providing an increased range and quality of content.
Lydia's passion for languages instigated her love of Latin America, when she spent time in South America learning Spanish, after studying French and Italian at King's College, Cambridge. She then spent six months as a Team Leader for Progressio ICS, working with young people from El Salvador and the UK, and has subsequently completed work for various international NGOs based in the UK, in the areas of education, child health and women's rights. She has supported work in programmes, fundraising and translation.
Shep studied Environmental Science at the University of East Anglia and went on to work for an independent energy consultancy, writing bespoke reports and industry copy. He returned to UEA to continue his studies and then became a Team Leader for Progressio ICS in El Salvador. In 2015 he joined NGO Restless Development and worked within their Volunteer Support team for the UK government's Department for International Development-funded International Citizen Service.