El Salvador Mission Trip
ESNA - El Salvador North American Village Network
These last two trips have been sublime. We traveled this year from July 20 to August 3. A major highlight has been the depth of the connection between our ESNA groups and the people in the Las Trincheras community, especially between the students in our groups and the youth group in Las Trincheras. They continue their contacts via Facebook and texting between trips. The people have expressed how delighted and happy they are when we come. We wind up blending in to the way of life in the community via our work together, as well as participating in social activities, and interactive meetings. Most members of our groups have spoken Spanish sufficiently to improve the quality of our interactions. The ones who don't speak much Spanish have jumped in and interacted well anyway. Even though we don't focus too much on working on projects, they get done. We were able to paint the inside and outside walls of a new maternity clinic in Caluco, which includes services for the people of Las Trincheras. We played softball, basketball, and soccer games.
I just returned from El Salvador and from working on a couple of different projects for churches in that country. One project took us to San Jose Las Flores to work with Padre Manuel who has been very good at getting us to help build his various parishes throughout the years. He does amazing work with his people and he meets them where they are - often walking miles to visit a family in need.
We also worked with a parish of extremely poor people who fled during the civil war and then were resettled twice. They finally ended up in a small area called Las Trincheras which is very rugged. Here they have built small homes and planted their corn and beans. They are really at the end of the road.
While we were there we funded a project to build a massive patio attached to their church. Here they'll teach their children about the faith.
As we were celebrating our project they asked me to help them fund a sacristy as part they want to attach to their church. They were told by the local Bishop that if they did that a local priest would be provided to their parish. This would mean so much to them as they have never had a permanent priest in their village.
I'm not asking for money (yet). I am asking for suggestions you might have about raising the $6,192 they need for building materials. They will put in all the sweat equity to build the building. This is an incredibly well organized community who are very faithful. I would love your suggestions.
I've attached the Excel spreadsheet with the costs of building materials and also a few photos from our recent work there.
Please let me know if you'd like to get together to discuss or if you have people with whom I should speak.