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El Salvador 2012 SPLC powerpoint

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Mission trip to El Salvador by group from St Paul's Lutheran Church in Alango, MN

Mission trip to El Salvador by group from St Paul's Lutheran Church in Alango, MN

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  • 1. Our Trip To El Salvador, 2012
  • 2. El Salvador Situated on the Pacific coast of Central America, El Salvador has Guatemala to the west and Honduras to the north and east. It is the smallest of the Central American countries, with an area equal to that of Massachusetts, and it is the only one without an Atlantic coastline. Most of the country is on a fertile volcanic plateau about 2,000 feet high.
  • 3. El Salvador Suffered During Its 12-Year Civil War  In the 1970s, discontent with societal inequalities, a poor economy, and the repressive measures of dictatorship led to civil war between the government, ruled since 1961 by the right-wing National Conciliation Party (PCN), and leftist antigovernment guerrilla units, whose leading group was the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).  The U.S. intervened on the side of the military dictatorship, despite its scores of human rights violations. Between 1979 and 1981, about 30,000 people were killed by right-wing death squads backed by the military.  José Napoleón Duarte—a moderate civilian who was president from 1984 to 1989—offered an alternative to the political extremes of right and left, but Duarte was unable to end the war.  In 1989, Alfredo Cristiani of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) was elected. On Jan. 16, 1992, the government signed a peace treaty with the guerrilla forces, formally ending the 12-year civil war that had killed 75,000.  El Salvador’s right-wing ARENA party narrowly earned a victory in elections held in March 2012 and now holds a greater number of seats than the ruling FMLN in El Salvador’s legislature.
  • 4. Environmental Disasters Effect El Salvador In 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated the country, leaving 200 dead and over 30,000 homeless. In Jan. and Feb. 2001, major earthquakes struck El Salvador, killing over 12,000 people and leaving many more homeless. An even worse disaster befell the country in the summer when a severe drought destroyed 80% of the country's crops, causing famine in the countryside.
  • 5. Arriving in El Salvador, January 9 We arrived in El Salvador about 7:00 p.m. and had to collect our baggage, get through customs and meet up with our group leader Joey Bailey, our van driver Oscar, and our interpreter Moses… Then we had load up the truck with ALL our bags, about 16 total!
  • 6. Casa Concordia, Our Home for 10 Days… Trinidad “Trini” Olmedo ran the Casa Concordia lodging where we stayed – she made sure all of our rooms were ready and our meals prepared every day! Several other groups stayed at Casa Concordia at the same time we were here… so Trini and her staff were VERY busy!
  • 7. In the City of San Salvador… A woman prepares the tortillas she will sell from her shop on the street in San Salvador. She’ll make hundreds of tortillas in one day and sell them all before she goes home for the night!
  • 8. Out In the Salvadoran Countryside… The area we visited is considered to be a Rain Forest… We saw everything from cactus to bamboo, poinsettia trees to sugar cane, and even some unusual types of pine trees!
  • 9. The Community of Monsenor Romero… Our first project here was to enclose the sides of this church so that the wind and rain didn’t soak the people inside during the rainy season…
  • 10. Our Project… The women and children, young and old, helped us with our project. These ladies are putting a waterproof stain on all of the plywood panels that will be put up as walls to enclose the church building.
  • 11. Everybody Helps… These young men of the community quickly learned how to run the power tools we purchased for them. Here they are cutting a plywood panel to fit just right!
  • 12. The Project Continues… The project continues as one by one the new plywood wall panels are installed. By this time the men of the Romero community have taken over the project!
  • 13. A Break for Lunch… We bought enough food to feed all the workers and the rest of the Romero community. We treated them all to an American lunch of hot dogs, French fries, pop and cake. The women of the community prepared the food while the men worked on the project…
  • 14. Sugar Cane… Sugar cane is a major crop in El Salvador. When it is ready for harvest , the field is burned. Then the workers go into the blackened field to cut the cane. They work 12 hours a day and make 50 cents an hour – that’s only $6 a day for hard, dirty work. But they are happy to do what they can to make a living.
  • 15. Family life… This is one of the families that live in the Monsenor Romero community. Homes here are very simple, usually built of concrete block with a tile floor. Some homes have only tin sheets for walls…
  • 16. Bathroom facilities… This is a typical outhouse bathroom in the Salvadoran countryside – the “banos”. They are built so that there are several steps to walk up, as the ground is too hard to dig a hole down. The toilets are commonly concrete. The door on this one is broken…
  • 17. Next Stop – Chipilte! On our way to the community of Chipilte, we stopped and purchased 13 new tables and 26 new plastic chairs for the Sunday School room at the church there. These were all tied to the top of the minivan, which was already heaped with 8 large suitcases filled with goods for the community! And then we stuffed 15 bodies into a 12 passenger minivan…
  • 18. We Arrive in Chipilte… The next community we visited was Chipilte. This is the church in Chipilte named “Jesus de Vida”. It also serves as a community meeting center…
  • 19. In Chipilte… Chipilte is a very poor community. This is one of the typical homes there. Most have only tin sheets for walls and dirt floors. There is little electricity or running water…
  • 20. In the Kitchen… This is how most women cook in Chipilte – over an open fire inside the house. Most meals consist of beans and rice every day. Chicken is the most common meat available.
  • 21. Inside the Home… Homes usually have only two or three living areas – a place to cook, a family area and a sleeping area. There is little furniture. Clothes are often just hung over a rope inside since there are no closets or dressers. Often a family of seven will live in a home this size…
  • 22. Outside the Home… Outside you may find a few plastic chairs, some barrels to hold water, clothes washed and drying on a line. Here we are visiting with one of the families in Chipilte…
  • 23. Serving the Chipilte Community… While in Chipilte, we distributed clothing, shoes, toys and health care items to people of the community. Here are some of the children waiting patiently while we get ready to hand out goods to everyone who came to the church that day…
  • 24. Lunch Time… As we did in Romero, we also provided lunch for everyone in the Chipilte community. Once again, hot dogs, chips, French fries and watermelon proved to be a big hit. Here the community members line up for their picnic lunch…
  • 25. Local Musicians… After lunch we were treated to some songs performed by these young men who sang and played their guitars. They entertained us for the afternoon, until it was time for us to leave…
  • 26. Leaving Chipilte… As we were getting ready to leave Chipilte, some of the children came to say goodbye. Many were wearing the new clothes that they received from us. And ALL of them loved the candy that we handed out!
  • 27. One More Important Visit – Casa Esperanza…. Our last mission visit was to Casa Esperanza – “Hope House” – a homeless shelter and soup kitchen. The shelter serves people who are often alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, or are mentally ill and have no other place to go…
  • 28. Sharing His Story… A few of the men at Casa Esperanza shared their stories with us. Many were just down on their luck having lost their jobs and homes. Some spoke English because they had lived in the U.S. but were deported back to El Salvador…
  • 29. Lunch at Casa Esperanza We served lunch to about 60 people, mostly men. The food was purchased or donated and then prepared by the Casa staff. Today we served mashed potatoes, a salad, two tortillas and a beverage. It is the only hot meal most will have for a few days…
  • 30. Side Trips and Other Visits… We visited Equipo Maiz, an agency in San Salvador dedicated to educating the public about the history, culture, economics and politics of El Salvador. Note the razor wire… Most businesses in town were protected by armed guards…
  • 31. Cuscatlan Park… Here we viewed “The Wall of Remembrance”, a memorial dedicated to more than 25,000 men, women and children who died or disappeared during the civil war in El Salvador in the 1980’s.
  • 32. UCA – University of Central America We got a personal tour of the UCA campus, a modern major university in San Salvador. Here in the Library you can look out the window and see the volcano… Tuition at UCA is very reasonable for those who cannot afford to pay in full.
  • 33. Centro Monsenor Romero Here at this Center on the UCA campus, we learned the story of six Jesuit priests who were murdered in 1989 by Salvadoran Federal troops… Also killed that night were a housekeeper and her young daughter.
  • 34. The Rose Garden… This rose garden is a memorial that commemorates the lives of the six priests and two women who were killed on the UCA campus in 1989.
  • 35. Romero Chapel… The Romero Chapel on the UCA campus is home to these beautiful art works, created by a local Salvadoran artist, which depict the terrible impact of the war.
  • 36. The Subversive Cross… This cross resides in the Resurrection Cathedral. During the war, church members wrote their feelings about the war and the government on this cross. Political leaders called it The Subversive Cross and locked this cross in a jail cell during the war. It was just recently returned to the Resurrection Church…
  • 37. Chalchuapa Park… This is a beautiful park in the center of town, featuring many varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers. Some bushes were even formed into the shapes of animals…
  • 38. Mayan Ruins… We spent time at the Mayan ruins of Tazumal, which are among El Salvador’s oldest and most impressive.
  • 39. Saying Good-bye… After 10 days in El Salvador we had many new friends! It was hard to say good-bye. We all feel that we got as much back from the people of El Salvador as we gave to them. I look forward to going back again NEXT year to meet more people, make new friends and work on projects that can help make their lives better!!
  • 40. Questions??? I’m happy to answers any questions you might have about the country of El Salvador, the people we met, the life they live, or the projects we worked on… Just Ask!!
  • 41. A Presentation Created by Laurel Chilcote On behalf of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Alango, MN And Calvary Lutheran Church, Orr, MN

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