Ryan’s final thoughts

ryan

Our day involved a drastic reversal of what we have come to know as the Salvadoran culture. We traveled to a private beach/resort and took advantage of a beautiful area to play, eat and drink throughout the day. Everyone agree that it was well worth the trip, but also agreed that the drastic shift to the affluent area left us feeling guilty and unfulfilled. I expect the same will take place upon our return to the states. We simply have so much and are privileged to easy access that we don’t consider the widespread impact that we can have through our simple actions. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that we cannot be complacent and that we must strive to better those around us, both domestic and international. Through this, I believe we fill a deep gladness tat most of us search for. Some find it in work or religion, but the majority isn’t so lucky. Ask yourself if you’re happy with your job or even life in general. Many of you may say, “of course I am”, but consider whether that would remain true if you died tomorrow. Finding peace, creating hope, and serving the needs of others are steps we can take to help us reach our deep gladness and achieve a better humanity. These steps are not easy, but I look forward to taking on the challenges and striving to live in a way that supports every person I have the opportunity to connect with. Being here has inspired me to consider the proper use of resources, especially water, and pursing and supporting programs that make resource distribution a reality. Some organization that I have in mind that I think can help with this are Oxfam America B world Vision. I also want to be able to spread education further than just my future classroom. Whether this be through technology or travel, I think every child deserves the right to a great education. Finally I want to never forget this experience. I want to tell people and educate them on what it’s like. I know I can no fix the world on my own, but raising support and awareness is the first step to making real change happen.

Esmeralda’s final thoughts

esmeralda

My experience on today was very different- being in a nice area in El Salvador was hard to take in. The “real Salvador” is different from the U.S. society because compared to the U.S., most people have a place to stay, get fed, receives a good education and everything seems to mostly be in good health. The real Salvador is very poor, and it is sad to hear that some areas have no water or electricity.

I noticed we have a lot of benefits and take a lot for granted. I know I don’t have a nice home in the U.S. but compared to some Salvadorans, I live pretty high in class. The thing I noticed the most, which I wish the U.S., had, is be able to trust people. People in the United States tend to be stubborn and careless. In El Salvador, a stranger would give you money even if they don’t have much themselves. Some examples I can change in the United Sates are actually taking things more with gratitude. When people give me things, I didn’t really have much expression or care as much, but now I’m starting to realize that I have a lot of things that I shouldn’t because it’s a waste.

I think the cool thing about El Salvador is the poorer people are the happy ones. In the U.S., many people aren’t happy and try to find things to make them happy. Another thing I’ll enjoy more of is school. When we went to visit the Trincheras, it was sad to hear that many don’t get a good education or even get to continue their education.

Elizabeth’s final thoughts

elizabethReflecting on my experience here in El Salvador has really opened my eyes to the extreme poverty that continues to exist not only here, but all over the world. The divide between necessity and want in the US, I feel, needs to be looked at in a culturally aware perspective. I don’t think most Americans know the difference between the two because of the fact that we are privileged enough to have food, water, adequate health care, etc. Digging deep into the core and witnessing the everyday lives of the Salvadoran people made me realize that if we cu back on a few “wants” we can help contribute resources to the individuals who are in great need of them.

I believe it is our obligation to keep a strong connection with the people of this country and put forth our greatest efforts in continuing to fuel education, water resources, and bettering living conditions. With the help of our CCLP group and the surrounding community, donations can be brought fort h for a good cause.

It is also the little things that we have been able to take away from this trip that count. After seeing the lack of water in each community, I know that there are little changes I can make to my own lifestyle to conserve water, take advantage of higher education and most importantly, to just simply be grateful for all I have. I will always be thankful for the people of El Salvador, for letting me in their culture and giving me a different perspective o life in every aspect.

Mariela’s final thoughts

mariela

Today we had an opportunity to be at a private waterfront resort. Being in several poor communities this week has allowed us to be able to distinguish the differences between the “real El Salvador” and the U.S.

One way in which I have found it to be different has included the way in which water is distributed between the people. For example, not everyone in El Salvador is given water or has water made readily available to them. The community’s in high mountain areas are generally made to use the water from the natural springs or mountain run off.

In the states, there seems to be a surplus of water. Many cities and neighborhoods are given or provided water through the local government. These differences have impacted my view on humanity through good and bad ways.

Some good things have include seeing the love and care between several community members and strangers like us. I have also realized the bad, which has included such disparities among wealthy and poor. While I’m in the U.S., I feel as though I will be more aware of my surroundings and the resources that have been provided for me.

Andy’s final thoughts

andy

Today was very rewarding. I believe it was a great payoff for experiencing the sad history of El Salvador and being able to help rebuild it. I enjoyed eating some American food (hamburger and fries) though at the same time I felt guilty that we had the privilege of going to a somewhat resort. We all learned that everyone should be treated equal, but the truth is that it’s not how we treat each other.

As Americans, I believe we think money can buy us happiness (going to a beach resort) where as Salvadorans think that happiness comes from the heart and money is to buy things that are needed and not wanted. I think after seeing the real El Salvador and listening to Sister Peggy’s message, I do feel like my eyes are open and I am more aware that people around the world need people like our group to save them and maybe just maybe save us someday. The grass is not greener on one side or the other, it is green everywhere and we, as humans of this beautiful earth need to open our eyes and see it. As for taking my experience back to CWU, I believe that I bring the OXFAM Club out of the ashes so that there will be club dedicated to help fight injustice, poverty and hunger around the world.

Alejandra’s final thoughts

alejandra

My reflection on today’s experience being at a beautiful private beach just made me think in a way that we shouldn’t have been there after all that we’ve seen before with the less unfortunate. I felt guilty because we’re so use to this as a norm in our lives living in the United States when other people are in worse conditions. This is a vast difference in the U.S. and in El Salvador in society that we have more privileges and the people in El Salvador are not all living a descent life; there is suffrage, lack of food, water and shelter.

The way these experiences have impact the humanity is actually seeing what is happening in the poor communities. A lot of us live a middle class life which is descent, but there are a huge number of people in the poor who suffer and don’t care so much for materials but the basics like food, shelter and water.

Tangible ways I can demonstrate from my experience from El Salvador back to the U.S. is trying to save more water and not waste food as well. I think we need to learn to not take too much of water/food so it won’t go to waste. We should give out small amounts of food/water at first if they want more they (people) can ask for seconds that way if you get too much in the beginning there wont be wasting food/water when other people can be using it.

Kelly’s final thoughts

kelly

We ended our 7th day adventure with a day at the beach. The beach environment was vastly different than the rest of El Salvador that we visited. When Ryan and I first walked in, we commented on how it looked similar to where we are going on our honeymoon. It was very much like a resort you would find in America. It was like going into a different world.

This experience has definitely changed my views on humanity. I see now that there are so many little ways I can help others. Thinking about it now they seem simple, but I never knew the impact or had a reference point for them. For example water; I see water as something that is always there for me and I never have to worry about not having water, but here water is like gold. When I get back to America, I will be more aware of how I use water and try not to waste any. Another thing I want to try is meatless Monday. Sister Peggy talked about how much water it takes to get meat onto our tables and I feel that participating in this could help lessen that.

Overall this experience has changed my views for the better. I now have a better grasp on what I want to do in the future. Also, I feel I will go back home with a different outlook on things and focus more on being productive in helping better society.