I've been privileged to meet a number of commited young people from the US, who have relocated to El Salvador to serve in various ways. Some of them also write compellingly about their experiences.
Danielle recently wrote:
A friend tells of a recent experience leading a workshop for children in inner-city San Salvador. The children were asked to draw pictures of what they like about their community, and what they don't like. My friend asked a nine year old girl what she planned to draw for “dislike.” She replied in a soft voice: “I don't like that they kill people.”
There are implications for this in a child's life. One: living in entrenched violence, you cannot leave the house after sunset. How many times has she seen the stars?...
Nick explored some of the theology which flourishes in the reality of El Salvador:
The preference to serve the poor and the outcasts lies at the heart of liberation theology, which has long found its fertile ground in Central America. El Salvador alone has given us such theologians as Rutilio Grande, Archbishop Oscar Romero, Ignacio Ellacuría, and Jon Sobrino. The bishop of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church, Medardo Gómez, has also written many books on theology, on what he calls the theology of life. He follows liberation theology, but changes how we see "the least of these". Rather than focus on liberating the poor, we ought to focus on liberating those in deepest need. This change in terminology opens the door to include each of us. We all have deep needs, whether they be financial, physical, emotional, or spiritual.
Julia is living in El Salvador and wrote about school supplies last week:
This year, with Mauricio Funes in office, the government promised to provide school supplies, uniforms, and shoes for each public school student. In doing so, the goal was make school more accessible for students, since uniforms, shoes, and school supplies are necessary, yet unaffordable for many Salvadorans. At the same time, it has provided work for many small businesses within the country. During the first week of school, I got to help out at a couple of different schools distributing tickets and supplies to parents and kids. So far, it seems like this is having a really positive affect on kids and is achieving what it set out to do.(Read more)