El Salvador

Salvadoran president's home becomes gallery with focus on poor

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – The Salvadoran president’s residence, a posh home in an upscale San Salvador district, reopened Sunday as a museum with a focus on welcoming the poor.

New leftist President Salvador Sánchez Cerén — an ex-rebel commander who has decided to keep living in his family home in a middle-class area of the city — reopened the building as a place where the socially excluded can come to reflect on their country and its artistic wealth.

The president and First Lady Margarita Villalta de Sánchez were at the opening of the arts center with 45 works by Salvadoran painters and sculptors.

The press was not invited to the opening. It was a special event for about 30 human rights group members and relatives of those killed in the country’s civil war.

But a press release said the arts center was meant to welcome the poor and excluded, “a place to gather and reflect on El Salvador’s identity and everyday life.”

Sánchez Cerén took office on June 1.

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