A Tropical Adventure—The Project Salvador Way
By Christine Agosta, with Patty Lawless, Project
Christine Agosta, along with three co-workers, won a
weeklong trip to El Salvador in a silent auction last year. Far from the Club
Med experience that is typical of tropical junkets, they spent several days
immersing themselves in the lives of the people of El Salvador and seeing
firsthand the work of Project Salvador. They were able to visit various artisan
cooperatives, as well as being exposed to some of the historical reality, both
recent and pre-Columbian, as they heard testimonies from the war years, visited
the site of Archbishop Romero’s assassination and took in the Mayan ruins at
Joya de Ceren. Below are some of Christine’s reflections of her brief immersion
in El Salvador this past summer.
“Visiting El Salvador was such an eye opening experience.
Before I went on this trip, I honestly wasn’t sure where El Salvador even was.
Ironically, after my short time there, I feel like I belong.
Part of that sense of belonging has to do for me with some
pretty simple, yet important realizations: how close El Salvador actually is to
the U.S., how many Salvadorans there are here—in the U.S. and in Colorado, and
the similarities with our southwestern culture. In part my own cultural
upbringing, as an Italian-American, and my experiences with exchange students
from Central America as I was growing up, added to the familiarity for me.
Hearing the struggles that people faced, the history of
the war years, as we spoke with the male elders of the community, was a very
moving moment. And meeting the women in the artisan cooperatives, who are so
hard-working, who create and are able to provide for their families from
virtually nothing, really touched my heart. Compared to our lifestyle here,
what we think we need, they have so little with which to survive.
Even after such a short time there, I would like to learn
Spanish better and be able to go back. But now I am back in Denver, and I know
I want to support this work, by networking with the people I know in Colorado,
and sharing the stories.
We are going to sell crafts at my place of work this
season, and I plan to put together a slide show, so that people understand who
produces the crafts and where their money is going. And I am going to contact
my network of family and friends and help raise some money to support the work
Supporting Project Salvador and purchasing crafts from
People of Hope Crafts really does help. No amount is too small. Every dollar
you contribute helps to keep the project going. It truly matters in the lives
of the women that we visited in the hills of El Salvador. We really can make a
Christine’s enthusiasm for our work was sparked by her
personal experience of El Salvador and Project Salvador in action. It is this
kind of openness by individuals to being transformed that has kept Project Salvador
vibrant for twenty-four years now!
If you are interested in a typical Project Salvador
tropical adventure, like Christine’s, which is certain to open your heart,
consider joining a Project Salvador delegation this coming summer.