My name is Elizabeth Membreño and I was born in the Mesa Grande Refugee Camps in Honduras. During the Civil War, when I was very little, my family returned to their native lands located in the conflictive zone of Cabañas, El Salvador.
When I was 15 years old, I and some of my friends founded the youth organization called the Asociación Comité Contra El Sida, Cabañas (CoCoSI). There was no HIV education or prevention in our rural communities, and we saw that we had to do it ourselves. At that time there were no educational opportunities. My family did not believe that an education was important for their children. The only alternatives for us youth were to become mothers, housewives and work in the corn and bean fields.