MOU signed for Cristo Rey Project

Today in El Salvador Bishop Barahona and Noah Bullock added their signatures to the MOU with St. Mary’s Kerrisdale re the Parish of Cristo Rey in Los Calix. Glen Mitchell then presented a cheque for $70,000 US to get the project started. Pictures of the group signing and presentation will be available here later today.

Learning About El Salvador

The first days in El Salvador were spent learning about some of the recent history of the country. Our group is quite large – 25 in all with people from St. Mary’s Kerrisdale, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, some students from Huron Theological College and PWRDF.

Thursday was spent learning about the war years and we visited the chapel where Archbishop Romero was assassinated. The presentation there – the first of many from Foundation Cristosal (www.cristosal.org) was very moving. We then visited the Cuscatlan Memorial Park where the survivors of the war have erected a monument to those who died during the 1980-1992 civil war.

Cristosal's Olivia Almaden  speaks about the memorial monument.

Cristosal’s Olivia Almaden speaks about the memorial monument.

On  Friday afternoon we visited La Anemona, one of several communities where Foundation Cristosal works. We spent time at lunch there and the afternoon was a presentation about the political, social, environmental  challenges these people face.

"Chencho" gave the lecture at La Anemona. He is a former Roman Catholic priest and friend of Anglican Bishop Barahona.

“Chencho” gave the lecture at La Anemona. He is a former Roman Catholic priest and friend of Anglican Bishop Barahona.

Saturday was training day at San Juan Evangelista Parish Church in San Salvador. About 70 people associated with religious organizations came together to learn about the election, the role of observers, etc.

Glen Mitchell with Obispo Martin Barahona at San Juan Evangelista - all decked out in the FECLAI uniform for observers.

Glen Mitchell with Obispo Martin Barahona at San Juan Evangelista – all decked out in the FECLAI uniform for observers.

There are more pictures to view on the El Salvador 2014 page on this website.

Visit to El Salvador Begins

We are all here despite some plane issues that delivered us late to our Houston stop over. No problems from that point and we were all tucked in to our beds by 11 p.m. or so on Wednesday night.

This morning we visited the chapel where Oscar Romero was assassinated in 1980 and the War Memorial Park called Cuscatlan near the centre of the city. Long marble stones have the names of thousands of murdered or disappeared Salvadorans from the early war years of 1980-81 etched in the walls.

In the afternoon we attended a Foundation Cristosal sponsored series of presentations about the social and economic and human rights situation in this country. The speakers were first class and it was a very informative afternoon.

In the evening we climbed the San Salvador volcano and crossed to the north side on the concrete road to Cafe San Fernando where we looked north to the Chalatenango region while devouring excellent pupusas. Archbiship Martin Barahona spoke to us about the reasons that the Anglican Church of El Salvador continues to press for political reforms in the country. We all sang him happy birthday!

More to follow but it is time to sleep before tomorrows long agenda.

Preparing…

Team members’ minds are turning to the tasks of trip preparation. Packing, money conversion, what clothes are best, etc. Excitement prevails for both new travellers and old hands as we ready ourselves for the El Salvador trip.

Watch this space for details of our trip and our reports as the days unfold. Keep our group of nine in your prayers. Thank you.

Welcome…

This blog will focus on social justice,  human rights and development issues, particularly among those who don’t live in the “developed” world. In particular I intend to focus on El Salvador – a country that I care about in Central America.