Friday, September 27, 2013

El Salvador

I was privileged to be able to go on a learning tour hosted by MCC to El Salvador and Guatemala. I was there from September 8 - 18, 2013. It was great meeting all kinds of people. Here is one boy I met at a daycare run by ANADES, an MCC partner. The daycare provides meals for the children as well as education.

We met Rosa, who has 10 children and 18 grandchildren. MCC has provided her family with School kits for 18 years now. She lives in an illegal shanty town called "La Linea".

This is Maria. She is demonstrating what can be done with MCC canned meat. When victims of Hurricane Stan first received canned meat, they weren't too excited. They didn't know what to do with it, so the Baptist church, an MCC partner  that does development work in La Linea, started workshops to give women ideas of how to use the meat. Our group was excited to be able to sample some of the great recipes the women came up with. Maria made stuffed peppers rolled in egg and fried, then garnished with tomato sauce. Now everyone loves MCC canned meat.
We went to Perquin and met a group of women who work together to overcome trauma from the war and who encourage each other to make handicrafts that they can sell and supplement their incomes with. I bought some crochet work from this woman.

We learned a lot about the conflict that El Salvador has just come through. Benito took us to a memorial that commemorates the lives of over 1,000 people brutally killed by the military in 1981. People are making sure that we remember so that this will not happen again.

We visited another daycare that was teaching dental hygiene. It is great to see who benefits from receiving a hygiene kit.

Raul was our driver for the duration of the learning tour. Nancy was our guide, organizer and translator. They helped to make the tour a lot of fun.