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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Upcoming Orientation Day for Compadres

We are 5 weeks away from our next trip to El Salvador! Next week, we will be meeting as a group to prepare for the trip. We have a group of 5 people going down this time - the perfect size for group. I am including here the agenda for next Saturday. Soon, I will be blogging regularly in preparation for what promises to be an exciting summer!

Compadres Orientation
Summer 2011

El Salvador Exposure trip
Location: 148 Meadowlands Drive West – St. Gregory School

8:30 Arrival, welcoming

9:00 Welcome to the day
Introductions - group members we would ask participants to talk about yourselves a bit
Individual expectations – what do you see as your challenges, what do you want to achieve through this experience? We are asking participants to answer this question
outline of objectives for the day – what we plan to accomplish today - Paul

Discussion on this year’s objectives – how does this trip fit into the overall Compadres project overview of Compadres - Paul

9:45 Our partners in El Salvador – CRIPDES, CORDES, CCR, brief history of El Salvador - RenĂ© Guerra Salazar – director of Salvaide

10:30 Break for coffee/snacks

11:00 review of trip agenda – where we will go, health and security, money, customs and cultural norms, weather, and living arrangements (especially in Las Flores) – RenĂ© and Paul

12:00 lunch at La Cabana – local Salvadoran restaurant on Merivale – car pool

1:30 Social Issues and El Salvador

2:00 discussion on possible workshops in El Salvador -

3:00 future planning for trip – group discussion

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Planning for this summer

CCR Assembly - we will be working with the CCR in San Jose Las Flores

This time of year we start getting into the specifics of planning for the summer Compadres trip. We are now at five people which is the number of participants we had on our last trip - great number!

In planning for a very different trip, I have written below what I think are the essential elements for this year's trip. I am very interested to hear what the rest of you think.

This will be a different trip this year. We will be spending most of our time in one community and we will be living with families. I think these two essential changes will make this very rich experience.

Here are some of the elements that I think are important in planning:

1. Language school - I have read lots about language schools in Guatemala - they sound pretty good. Why don't we work to start one in San Jose Las Flores - we can do a few hours of Spanish every day - this will lend structure to the program and will give us a skill they can use and improve upon throughout the day. Hopefully, this is something we can develop over time. This could become a regular feature of our progrm.

2. Living with families - I think this should be the basis of the program - we should look for some activities we can do with our families - maybe a fun outing at some point. This too will develop over time. I think we should also structure regular debriefing time in throughout the day so the group can get a chnce to check on how everyone is doing.

3. Work in the schools - this is something we should try to do - I know this is difficult due to the language barrier, but I think it is important that we spend time in the schools - I hope there are some workshops we can do that will be of use to teachers and students.

4. Dialogue with teachers - this is essential. We will learn a great deal if we have a chance to dialogue, learn and plan with local teachers. These sessions have been very helpful in the past.

5. A common workshop - I think it would be really interesting to develop a workshop that both Canadian and Salvadoran teachers could take part in. This is not an essentail part of the program, but I think we should work towards this.

6. Work with TWB - I hope we can do something in this area. This is a very interesting group and I think it would very useful to work with them during the trip and throughout the school year.

These are just ideas, but I am hoping these ideas will help to develop a structure for the program. I would be very interested to hear what you think about all this.