What a powerful few days!
We recently paused in the construction process of the home we are building to transition into our Build Louder piece of the trip. Habitat trips are generally one week in length with five days of building, but by adding a few more days, we are able to incorporate meetings and cultural education with local non-profits and good-doers, which literally helps us Build Louder in this community and our own.
We began this section with an extra 30 minutes of sleep and a delicious breakfast in San Salvador – a great start! Then headed to the Habitat for Humanity El Salvador national office to meet with Jóvenes contra de violencia (translates to: Youth Against Violence – http://www.jovenescontralaviolencia.com/). They are a local organization working to prevent violence in children in Central America. The people we met with are truly making progress with today’s youth through education and awareness. I hope to be able to partner with them in the future. The second organization was Techo (http://www.techo.org/paises/elsalvador/). Through fundraising and donations, Techo is able to build low income, temporary housing for families in transitional periods. I’m excited to spread the word about this group and the potential relationship it may have with Habitat for Humanity.
The next couple days were spent learning about the history of El Salvador – something we tried to educate ourselves with prior to this trip, but could never fully grasp until now. We visited Monseñor (Oscar) Romero’s residence, burial site, and church where he was killed. We went to UCA (the University of Central America) where six Jesuit priests were teaching, residing, and brutally killed because of the things they believed in. We walked along “the Wall” depicting the hundreds of civilians killed during the war, listing out every single name and site that was attacked. We took time at El Mozote, where hundreds of innocent children and families were brutally murdered simply because they were there.
As a group and individuals on this trip, we have found so much love and hope throughout El Salvador. It’s been a difficult few days trying to digest all the knowledge we have learned while literally standing on the ground where it occurred.
Some people think that it’s silly for me to travel abroad to help build homes for people I don’t even know. Some question why I don’t just stay in the United States. After being here in El Salvador and learning about this history, in the end, we truly are all Americans. We all live in America. Whether it be North America, Central America, or South America, it is all America, we are all Americans, and we are all humans on this earth.
Of you’re interested in learning more about the history I El Salvador and the places we have visited, I am more than willing to share my experiences with you. But it is not meant to be shared here.
We are back in Usulutan from our long weekend away and are all ready to see our family at the work site once again! For heaven’s sake! We’ve got a house to build!