Wednesday, March 12, 2008

School break trips to El Salvador

This time of year, a number of stories appear in the press about college students using their school breaks for projects in El Salvador.

For example, students from the University of Wisconsin in Engineers Without Borders spent their winter break in El Salvador on a waste water project:

New Year's Eve in Nejapa, El Salvador, looks a lot like the Fourth of July. At Griselda Guzman's house, homemade fireworks lighted the front yard, where the guests dancing outside her pale yellow home included 11 University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering students and three advisers.

Students from the UW-Madison chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their winter break in El Salvador to begin construction on a gravity-based wastewater system that will link two nearby communities to the sewer system in the larger city of Nejapa.

That first night of celebration launched three weeks of local hospitality toward the students, who are members of the UW-Madison chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). The group spent its winter break in El Salvador to begin construction on a mostly gravity-based wastewater system that will link two nearby communities to the sewer system in the larger city of Nejapa.(more)

Next week a Kansas State graduate student is leading a team from Habitat for Humanity to build 25 houses in Santa Ana. Undergraduate business majors from Santa Clara University are going to El Salvador in connection with making a micro-loan to an organic fruit and vegetable cooperative.

Sacred Heart University students are returning to the village of Tierra Blanca in Usulutan department where they have had a variety of service projects over the years. Meanwhile, Purdue students are going to El Salvador with the organization Ambassadors for Children.

For many of these college students, the experience they will have can lead to a lifetime where service to poor communities at home and abroad is important.

6 comments:

Bosque said...

This is always good to hear. Nothing but positive relations can come from volunteering.

Anonymous said...

I've been keeping the same sorts of threads --mostly from Google Alerts (keyword, El Salvador). It is pleasing to see that many of these students write blogs about their experiences there. The typical sentiment is that of the country's people and natural beauty.

In contrast, the focus on violence there by the media makes violence self-propelling, in my opinion.

I don't care if I mispelled the news network's name, since they didn't bother to spell-check Santa Ana.

/Fish Guy

inner-self said...

it is good news. however, i just can't help to think that they are doing this out of pity and charity because el salvador is not a self sufficient country, that could rely on itself at least for the most basics of needs. at least we are not too proud to turn away such help although we have to work on becoming self reliant.

Joe said...

There is a group from Mount Union College that is visiting this week, also.

Inner-self: Speaking as someone who helped to lead a student group to El Salvador, I would say it's more than charity or pity. It is an exchanging of ideas, sharing, working together. The students' lives are enriched... they gained just as much as they gave.

El-Visitador said...

«doing this out of pity and charity»

For the generous, there is always opportunity to help people wherever they find themselves.

In my experience, people who get involved with assistance projects in El Salvador are people who do it as an extension of their habitual Church or community work where they live.

Blessed be their souls.

HODAD26 said...

yes blessed be their souls
any help at all is appreciated
in ES