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Monday, May 13, 2013

More thoughts on next trip

The fact that we have a year to put together our next trip has some real advantages. We have been in talks with a number of groups that can offer us new opportunities. We are working to link the experience to Religious Studies at St. Paul`s. There is even a chance we may be able to link up to the principals course - but this is certainly a work in progress! We are also going to try to appeal to our principals. A trip to visit schools and talk to teachers, administrators and kids would be a great learning experience for any administrator.

I think also we need to get back to doing more analysis on the current situation in El salvador. The suggestion has been made that we spend more time at the Jesuit University either discussing social justice issues or maybe their education outreach programs. There are also many civil society groups doing wonderful work - we need to spend more time with some of these groups.

grounds of the Jesuit University

I think we should also visit a great variety of school districts. The school we visited in the Bajo Lempa area was very different from the school in San Jose las Flores. Maybe we need to see and talk to more teachers and administrators to get a better sense of how education is progressing now in El salvador. This may lead to some good partnerships between schools in El Salvador and in Canada and I think we should be open to this and discuss the partnership possibilities while we are there.

visiting a school in Bajo Lempa

There are so many good ideas for partnerships that could be explored.

Another idea that has come up is the possibility of actually doing some physical work while we are down there. We have traditionally kept away fromm these types of projects, but maybe this is something we need to look into. As long as it is a project that CRIPDES is interested in it may be another way to force links within the community.

I think we also need to boost up the touristic nature of the trip. Teachers who come on this experience have just finished a long year and they need time to rest and explore some of the natural beauties of the countryside. Staying overnight at an ocean resort could be a great way for the group to relax and come together. We should also spend some time learning about the legacy of Oscar Romero and the war. This history is really interesting and it should be one of the things we focus on.

an overnight stay at a local ocean resort would be a real treat

Finally, I think we need to spend a few days in Suchitoto. This is a beautiful city and the cultural center of El Salvador. We finished our trip there last year and it is a wonderful place to unwind. They also have some language schools that we could take advantage of. On our last trip, one of our participants stayed an extra few days there to work on her Spanish.

colonial architecture in Suchitoto

There is so much more we can do on this thrip that will appeal to our teachers and principals. We will continue to look for new, fresh ideas over the next few weeks.

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