Life in El Salvador

Traffic

Last week Jon and I set out to try to spend some time together that wasn’t with the kids, or at work, or in a meeting somewhere. It was Monday night and our day-time housekeeper decided to stay overnight so we took advantage of the unexpected childcare. With smiles and light hearts we said good-bye to the kids and jumped in the car. That was our first mistake. We got on the road and headed toward one of the movie theaters in the city. As we merged into traffic, it immediately stopped. Completely. And didn’t move. At all. We looked at each other, and the time, and assured ourselves that surely we could make the 6:30 movie starting in 45 minutes. After all, we only had 4 miles to go. I laugh […]

An Afternoon in Ataco

Well, this is not a travel blog, but I still like to share bits and pieces of what El Salvador is like. There is a colonial legacy here that adds to the color and history of the country. Learning about culture and history are important elements to take into account when living and serving outside of our own contexts. There is value in seeking to understand the story that someone else has behind their life. A month or so ago the kids and I spent the afternoon with some friends in the colonial town of Ataco. We really enjoyed just walking the cobblestone streets, and exploring some local shops. I always enjoy when I get to be out of the city and be a tourist in El Salvador. The day was […]

Earthquake in El Salvador

Last night we experienced a 7.4 earthquake in El Salvador. We are used to tremors but this one felt a lot bigger! I felt like the whole floor was rolling back and forth. We were fine, and in San Salvador there was no major damage reported. East of us was much closer to the epicenter and local news is reporting three deaths as well as power outages and approximately 20 collapsed homes. Please pray for those affected, and thank you for continually keeping our family in your prayers! You can read about the earthquake here: http://edition.cnn.com/2014/10/14/world/americas/central-america-earthquake/index.html  

The Weight of All Things

Last week while we were on vacation I was finally able to finish a book that I started months ago. I think I’ve set a record for longest time to finish a not-so-long book, but I’m so glad that I did. The book is called The Weight of All Things, and it is Sandra Benitez’s follow up to her epic novel, Bitter Grounds. And just like her first novel, it pulls you right in to the world of El Salvador…this time during the Salvadoran Civil War. The book is a novel, but it includes very real depictions of things that happened during the conflict. I saw the war through the eyes of a scared young boy as he was forced to aid guerrillas on his family’s ranch, and then later as he was forced to […]

Independence Day Weekend

I hate when the blog starts to fall behind, but it’s inevitable with crazy weeks like this past week’s party madness. So, I am finally getting around to an update about Independence Day weekend. Independence Day in El Salvador is on September 15th. On that day in 1821 El Salvador declared independence from Spain. Today it is celebrated through special events in schools, towns, and all kinds of public places. This year we had the added bonus of a three day weekend because the holiday fell on a Monday. Some Salvadoran friends invited us to their “rancho” on the beach in the eastern party of the country where we have never been before. El Salvador never falls to surprise and delight me and this weekend was no exception. The beaches are […]

Finally Legal!

Last December we shared with you the news that we would be starting the process of making MTES an officially registered non-profit here in El Salvador, in addition to the non-profit status that we already have in the States. Today we are thrilled to share the news that we are finally legal! We have the paperwork in hand! It took us a few months to get things in order, and we submitted all of our paperwork in March. Our lawyer can’t believe how fast the process went, especially with an election happening in the middle of it all. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement…we are so excited to have this process behind us!

Names on a Wall – Our Visit to a Civil War Memorial

The summer has flown by so fast! Today our last intern is finishing her last day of work. Every year we hope that our interns can learn a little something about El Salvador while they are here, so we try to start the summer off with a short history lesson. Back in June on a rainy morning we took our kids and our interns to visit the memorial wall in Parque Cuscatlan before heading to the National Cathedral downtown. Our friend Cruz shared some history about the war with our interns. The wall was built to honor the more than 75,000 Salvadorans who were killed during the Salvadoran Civil War in the 80s and early 90s. The memorial is called “Monumento a la Memoria y la Verdad” which means the […]

Hiking the Santa Ana Volcano

This past weekend, we did some new, fun stuff in El Salvador. We went to see the national soccer team play (a first for the kids and I), and I will post more on that later. We also finally (finally!) took the time to hike the Santa Ana Volcano. In the native language, it is known as Illamatepec. Jon has done it before but the kids and I haven’t and I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time. I wish I had taken more pictures on the climb up, because it was an absolutely spectacular day. However I got a few and you can see the flowers in full bloom. The flowers and trees slowly gave way to a desolate landscape. Santa Ana last erupted in 2005 so […]

Five Reasons Why We Love the World Cup

For all of you who live under a rock, tomorrow is the World Cup final. Our family has thoroughly enjoyed watching all of the matches in this year’s tournament, and we are sad to see the whole thing come to an end tomorrow! So here are a few reasons why we love the World Cup… 1. We get to learn about countries all over the big, wide world that don’t normally come up in everyday conversation.  The kids filled albums with players from all the different countries participating, and they learned a little bit about each country in the process. Now they know where each country is located and what they call themselves in their native language. 2. Soccer is not only a great sport, but also a really, really […]

Rainy Season

I sit in my car and wait, and as I sit I watch the rain come down. One of the first rains of the season. Drop after drop hits my parked car and I listen to each sound as it echoes on the roof. I sit there and I think. And my mind hears each splashing raindrop of the season we are in. A life is lost, violence rises, and friends buckle under the weight of crisis. Addiction wins, hope seems far, and the darkness hovers just outside the doorway. Icy raindrops hit my soul, and I shiver. The cold seeps in when it’s all falling down around my ears, and the sun has fled. Windy rains are sweeping through the city and dryness and warmth seem so far off. […]

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