We’re back from our second St Joseph’s Mission Trip to El Salvador. Last year I led six high schoolers with a parent chaperone, and the trip was very difficult. We lived with the poor, got very sick and endured record heat. Nevertheless, the students were all troopers and the sign that the trip was worthwhile is that most of them said, “Can we go next year?”
El Salvador Survivors
June 27, 2008 by 2 Comments
This year we took four boys and five girls, a parent chaperone and a St Joseph’s graduate as our translator and additional chaperone. Our visit overlapped with a visit by members of the Papal Foundation so on arrival we went straight to the capital, San Salvador, and paid a visit to the papal nuncio. The next day we toured CIDECO near the town of La Herradura in the department of La Paz. CIDECO is a wonderful project: a gated community where the poorest of the poor get a step up. They may apply to live in simple housing which they buy with loan assistance. Their children attend Mano Amigo school, there is a marketplace and a clinic and they are in the process of building St Patrick’s Church. The aim is to help them break the cycle of poverty in one generation.
We , visited homes for prayer, distributed New Testaments and prayer books, I celebrated Mass in Spanish four times, and heard confessions in Spanish. The students had a painting project, helped with English and swimming lessons, took kindergarten classes, played with the children and helped out in the clinic.
We also ate pupusas (the local speciality–corn meal patties with meat and cheese inside) visited a Mayan archeological site, went to San Salvador, visited the chapel where Abp. Oscar Romero was murdered, and finished the trip with an overnight at the beach on El Salvador’s Pacific coast.