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Saturday, February 15, 2014

News from student group in El Salvador

The next few entries are reposts from the blog: ElSalExperience - they have been recording their experiences daily on their trip latest trip.  The group left Ottawa February 7.

A wonderful post - thanks Maureen and Stephanie for this!

We got an early start to our day with a 7am wake up call followed shortly after with a breakfast consisting of eggs, toast, pineapple and watermelons!

Our interpreter Roberto gives a passionate recounting 
of the history of El Salvador at the memorial to the civilian
 victims of the Civil War.

Here is a section of the wall relief sculpture commemorating
the struggles of the people of El Salvador during the Civil War.


Reflection on Day 1

The first day here in El Salvador was amazing. I am incredibly humbled to be here considering all the welcoming people. Everyone is so friendly and hospitable. We have only been here for about 24 hours and I already feel like I have a new outlook. It is amazing to hear stories from people that cherish education more than anything. People leave their families to go to school in San Salvador to provide a better life for their spouses and children. This impresses and amazes me. I have never felt so fortune to live and go to school where I do. And I am so happy that the government here in El Salvador is making steps towards providing a better education for children, youth, and adults. My favorite part of today was meeting Sister Bernadette. She was the smallest and most charming woman I have ever met. She showed us through Monsieur Romeros home. She was incredibly knowledgeable and told us some amazing things about him and his life. She has never met him, and she has an unbelievable amount of faith in him, which is an amazing demonstration of the power of faith. Being here for only 24 hours and I already feel so different and excited. Cant wait to go to San Jose Las Flores. - Emma Jackson

Outside of Oscar Romero´s home. Sister Bernadette 
giving an introduction to the life of Romero.

Inside the Divine Providence chapel where Romero was 
assassinated when he was celebrating mass.

Sister Bernadette captivating our students.


Posing with Sister Bernadette at the grotto where 
Romero´s heart is buried. This was the end of a moving tour 
of Romero´s home and museum, which students found inspirational.



Stopping for a delicious lunch at a typical Salvadoran restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                     Second Reflection on Day 1

It is a whole other world out here, and oh my, is it magnificent. I have already learned and seen so much, and I have only been here two days. I have travelled out of the country before, but the language barrier has always prevented me from getting involved as much as I want to. El Salvador is an exception, as I can speak enough Spanish to communicate with the local people. I am also not only staying in resorts or tourist areas. As a result, I have been able to immerse myself in this culture, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Perhaps the most striking thing that I have noticed is the contrasting values of my society, and this one. Our guide and translator, Roberto, speaks about the people of El Salvador and their values. These people want healthcare, education, a strong economy. In my society, I have all those things. Though I am extremely grateful for the opportunities I have, I have become aware that I do not cherish them as much as I should. Roberto said that the people of El Salvador have had struggle ceaselessly, simply to have basic school supplies. Our sister school in San Jose Las Flores only gets $1500 per year of education funds. Where I am from, school supplies are an under $10 purchase, and only a short car ride away. Not to mention, the government of Ontario provides around $6000 per year, per student. I find the difference between those two figures staggering. Overall, I am struck by the beauty of El Salvador, that I see in its geography, and its people, and I cannot wait for the days to come. - Julia Moran

Students reflecting in the Jesuit chapel at the University of Central America.

Meeting with Salvadorans who work tirelessly to promote peace and social justice.

Julia contemplating a Salvadoran version of the stations of the cross.


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  2. Romero,

    One of the greatests son of El Salvador, a saint, a real holy man, a man for the poorest people, and now for the sad.

    Great post, I deeply thank you for remembering this great man, murdered, but still alive in our hearts.