Today was a great day because we got to spend the whole entire day at the beach. The beach place was very breath taking and gorgeous, especially the sunset. During our time at the beach, I reflected on our journey this past week and compared it to what I have experience as we drove by neighborhoods and meet people. We are very fortunate and blessed to go to the beach toady because not many Salvadorans would have the opportunity to go to the beach that we went to.
Therefore, our society (the United States) is extremely lucky on the things that we have; however, it seems to me that Americans do not value and appreciate life enough. The Salvadorans would be filled with smiles and a lifted heart if they had the opportunity to have the society we have. Few examples the U.S. has that El Salvador does not have are descent sewage systems, stricter laws and less pollution just to name a few. I feel like we are sometimes selfish in a way where we don’t have things that we want. The little children of El Salvador made me realize personally that we can’t want things to make us happy, we should be grateful for what we have and not think that we can have anything we want.
The difference I see is that American life and today at the beach is a luxury. It is a gift that I not only should be thankful for, but I should strive to bring that gift to others- the gift of just being able to go to the beach with some friends and order some food. Many people in El Salvador do not have that luxury. When I return home to Washington, I plan to continue my research in ways I can make a difference in poor communities around the world and then I plan to get involved. Continue researching and getting involved comes from experiencing the gracious people in El Salvador when I should be the one who is more gracious to them with everything I have- Basic human rights and enjoyments.
Besides realizing about the 1%, my experience today was very enjoyable, but not reality for me or the Salvadorans. The areas I went to throughout the trip has been devastating in how they lived below the poverty level and that their poor still suffers. It still is prevalent that the injustice treatment and the lack of care by the government continues. There have been so many things wrong with the communities that have the money and just soak in that idea, even at the expense of others.
Compared to the U.S., El Salvador is very poor. The Salvadorans have a community base where they can’t find security and the U.S. has a better way to deal and cope with the tragedies of their lives. Another huge difference is the collectivism vs. individualism. It has been very high here and the U.S. is very high only on individualistic.
While being here, I’ve changed in the sense of seeing humanity and getting in that way. I want to get to know my neighbors for example instead of being strangers. I also want to see other sights and places in the United States were poverty is high and volunteer there or make donations. For me, I just want to act in better ways of being kind toward people. El Salvador taught me a lot about myself and having ways to cope with differences among people. Sister Peggy was huge for me in realizing life. She brought the idea of our humanity, not showing how the U.S. is too focused on the I, but should focus on the we at the same time. I also want to change myself in ways of being less wasteful and more conscious of how much water I use and remind myself that I am very blessed in life for where I live.
Activities we did today:
Went to the beach
Stayed at San Jose Hostel
Activities we did today:
Worked at an agriculture farm helping pull chilli’s and roll hose up
Played soccer with the children
Visited 3 schools to donate supplies
Went to a waterfall
Visited a local potter and tried to create masterpieces
Went to Mayor Guillermo’s house to talk with him
I feel as though I experienced so much today. It began on the field pulling weeds and chili peppers. The chili peppers were no good and would be used for the seed. The seed would be dried and planted for next season’s harvest.
The area in which we worked had a nice breeze, which made it a lot easier. As we were working, I had the pleasure of talking to the land owner’s daughter. She shared her story and experiences. Even though it may have not seemed like much, she appeared to have appreciated it because she gave me a marble as a reminder of my visit there with her and her family. This made my whole day’s experience amazing!
We went to a farm where we pulled weeds and pepper plants, and rolled up the irrigation drip lines. It was very enjoyable to learn about their land and that one of their buyers is Walmart- we didn’t work much on the farm but it was enjoyable. An interesting thing about their farm is their bathroom; it was basically a hole in the ground with a cement toilet shape.
The first school we went to was not actually a school, but a place for students to engage in activities. It is trying to be to be self-sustaining by growing vegetables and using it in their restaurant. We also played soccer with some of the kids that go to the center. It was fun but we lost against them.
We visited two different schools where we donated sporting equipment and hygiene kits (tooth paste and tooth brush) for the students. The first school was empty because it was switching shifts, as there are two shifts in that school system. The second school was built with German funding and has students coming in to the school.
After lunch we went to the waterfall- it was beautiful. We had a lot of fun, I jumped in off some rocks. After the waterfall, we headed to a guys house where he makes pottery. He is a decent from the Mayans, and his family speaks Nahuatl, a dead language. He demonstrated how pottery is done and let us have a try. I tried and it was really hard to do. The guy has amazing talent. His capabilities are amazing.
After pottery, we visited with the mayor of Santo Domingo, who is Guillermo’s dad. He will be mayor for one more year, and is planning to run for re-election. Some of his job duties is to figure out getting water, through pipes, to the homes and community for his people.