WRC Trip to El Salvador : April 12-14

Dear Colleagues:

From April 12-14, the WRC will be coordinating a trip to El Salvador for representatives of our affiliate universities, to visit apparel factories and meet with garment workers and civil society organizations. 

The trip will be an opportunity for administrators to get hands-on exposure to labor rights field work and to talk with the key players: factory managers, workers, and leaders of labor rights groups. Participation is open to administrators at all WRC affiliate schools. We welcome you to join us in El Salvador.Below, please find more information on the trip, including details on the itinerary, costs, and travel logistics. 

If you are interested in participating, or have questions, please contact Nancy Steffan at [email protected] or by phone at the WRC office: 202-387-4884.



It is our intention to make this April expedition the first installment of a regular program, with one or two trips each school year to an apparel-exporting country. The WRC has developed an extensive network of relationships with NGOs around the world and we now have field staff in eight countries. We want to take advantage of these resources to provide opportunities for administrators at our affiliate schools, who are leaders on code of conduct issues, to hear from workers, factory managers and labor rights leaders “on-the-ground” in the places where university logo goods are produced. There is, as they say, nothing like “being there.” 

El Salvador is a significant supplier of university logo apparel and has also been the site of substantial university code enforcement work. Our meetings and factory visits will provide useful insight into working conditions and labor rights issues in El Salvador’s export processing zones, which are similar in important ways to such zones throughout the global apparel industry, but where workers also face challenges particular to the Central American context. A major focus of the discussions will be current efforts to improve respect for labor rights in the region. 

The timing of this trip was dictated by staff availability and other logistical issues. Those who are interested but cannot make these dates, or who need more lead time, should rest assured that there will be another opportunity to participate in a similar trip during the fall semester.

Trip Schedule and Travel Logistics

The El Salvador trip will take place from Thursday, April 12 through Saturday, April 14. We know people’s schedules are busy, so we have limited the trip to three days, including travel time. SinceEl Salvador is quite accessible from points in the U.S., this will allow us the equivalent of two full workdays on the ground – time to visit two factories, meet with managers, have two extensive off-site discussions with apparel workers, and have two meetings with labor rights NGOs. There will also be time to see some of San Salvador, El Salvador’s capital city. 

Participants will leave for El Salvador early on the morning of April 12 and will get back home the evening of the April 14. There are morning flights available, with connections to San Salvador, from virtually every city in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South and Midwest. (Those who like a more leisurely travel schedule may prefer to travel the afternoon of the 11th, which is also an option.) Travel to San Salvador from the West is somewhat more difficult, because of the time change (San Salvador is on Central time), but we can work with participants from Western schools to facilitate a convenient itinerary. 

Participants have the option of arranging their own flights or working with the WRC’s travel agent. All other aspects of the trip – hotel reservations, airport transfers, travel to and from meetings, meals, translation, etc. – will be coordinated by the WRC. 

Itinerary and Budget

The approximate cost per person for the entire trip will be $1,500, including airfare, hotel, meals and ground transportation. The exact schedule of meetings for the trip is being developed, but we have included here the basic itinerary and a sample budget to give you a clear sense of the logistics.Anticipated Itinerary 

April 12 (Thursday)MorningLeave U.S.1:30pmArrive in San Salvador4:00pmMeeting with NGO6:00pmDinner7:30pmMeeting with factory workers April 13 (Friday)8:00amBreakfast10:00amVisit to Factory A12:30pmLunch2:00pmVisit to Factory B5:00pmMeeting with factory workers7:00pmDinner April 14 (Saturday)8:00amBreakfast meeting with NGO9:30amLeave for airport12:00pmDepart San SalvadorEveningArrive back home

Budget (per person)Airfare$1,100Hotel (2 nights, includes breakfast)$175Meals (4)$100Local transportation$125Total$1,500