Bellarmine College Prep and Agua Escondida

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After our first trip to El Salvdor in 1993 we decided that we were in for the long haul so to speak.  We realized that we had so much to learn about our connection to the suffering and the joy in El Salvador, and were looking for a way to more deeply personalize the experience.  We wanted a relationship.  The sister community experience provides the opportunity for that experience of relationship.

Our sister community is Agua Escondida, which is in the Department of La Libertad, where we have now built and continue to support a kindergarten school, a teacher and other miscellaneous projects associated with the school.

We are proud that we have maintained this relationship since 2000, but also we are proud of our long term relationship with CEBES since 1993.  This trip and all that goes with it, including the sister community relationship have transformed the lives of so many of our students and faculty who have made this trip.  It is so important for the industrialized world to experience the developing world on the personal level.  This indeed is the only thing that will make the world more just, more peaceful and more loving.

The value of the relationship for us is that it deepens our own humanity.  It helps us understand what Christ did for us on e the cross!  It draws out the compassion that is in each of us!

The memory and experience of physically seeing the school and the children who attend it is important for us.  We have seen the teacher, Arsenia work with the kids and been able to watch the children grow from little children to young boys and girls!

Our hope for the future of the relationship is that it will continue.  It is difficult with the pressure from within our school to expand and look at new immersion experiences.  Those of us with long standing roots to this relationship are getting ready to turn over the reigns to younger folks who may not feel the same sense of connection to El Salvador that we do.  It is like those in El Salvador who do not recall the civil war or the importance of the martyrs and the solidarity movement.  This is will be our challenge.

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