“Up Wind Down Wind” is an intimate story, which, through the vision of the young, will teach us how to change the winds against to winds in favor.


El Salvador is considered one of the most violent countries in the world. Between 2012 and 2015 of almost 25 thousand homicides, 52.1% corresponded to young people between 15 and 29 years. Both children and young people alike are exposed to threats and pressures from criminal gangs, limiting their free mobility and social development, making them more vulnerable to school dropout, migration and early pregnancy. In this context we will meet Arturo Merchez and Amilcar Sánchez, both 24, whose friendship will introduce us to the traditions of the communities on the shores of Lake Ilopango and how to take advantage of their virtues. Through them and their families, we will observe the world of fishing and how to combine this experience and knowledge with a new discipline; sailing.

“Up Wind Down Wind” as a wind vision that will make us flow in an unknown world, helping us understand the dressage of a ship with a small helm, with a sheet, with a SAIL, to face different challenges and conditions of navigation, to compete and Stand out internationally, helping us to understand how to tame life.

Through Arturo and Amilcar, we will learn how young people can develop their education and professionally, knowing how to navigate a great number of obstacles and how to change the future prospects of these communities, since the goal of both is to make sailing an essential part of the lives of young people and thus transform the reality of a country. Both begin to work as trainers in the sailing school and begin the formation of a new generation of sailors in the neighboring communities.



"From Upwind to Downwind" (Changing winds that ate against to those in favours)
Duration: 90 minutes    
Film Genre: Documentary    
Country: El Salvador    
Language: Spanish       Subtitles: English/French
Filmmaker: Pilar Colomé    
Production: Holón Films       Co-Production: FESAVELA
Financed by: Ministry of Economy El Salvador / DICA / PIXELS Pro
Main Cast: Arturo Merchez, Wendy Merchez, Amilcar Merchez
Secondary Cast: Merchez Family, Mónica Martínez, Don Marcelino
Music: Original    
Year: 2017    


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Lake Ilopango is a crater lake which fills a scenic 8 by 11 km (72 km2 or 28 sq mi) volcanic caldera in central El Salvador, on the borders of the San Salvador, La Paz, and Cuscatlán departments.
Max. length     11 km (6.8 mi)
Max. width     8 km (5.0 mi)
Surface area     72 km2 (28 sq mi)
Max. depth     230 m (750 ft)
Surface elevation     440 m (1,440 ft)

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