El Salvador Encounter

El Salvador Encounter is a faith-based delegation experience where participants learn from the Salvadoran people about their lives, histories, and hopes for the future. A major focus of the encounter is to reflect on the meaning of working for justice rather than working for charity, understanding one’s role as a global citizen and humanizing the different issues that are present in our societies.

Encounters are 7 to 10 days long and offer the opportunity to explore a different reality while focusing on a theme chosen by the group. Participants learn directly from the Salvadorans about issues such as the impact of war, neo-liberal economics, U.S. foreign policy, migration, mining, the environment and a tradition of liberating faith.

 The focus of the El Salvador Encounter program is not only to develop a greater knowledge of El Salvador as a whole but also to develop an understanding of the people and to build relationships. The El Salvador Encounter program is sponsored by CRISPAZ. We have been leading tours and seminars to El Salvador since 1985. Our in-country staff can organize a delegation to meet the needs and interests of your group.

Every Encounter organizer and participant wants to know what they will be seeing and doing while in El Salvador. This section is designed to to help you understand how CRISPAZ sets up your itinerary and to give you the information you need to fill out the interests and communicate to our staff your wishes and interests for the trip.

All CRISPAZ El Salvador Encounters include: visit to martyr sites, grassroots organizations, a rural community, as well as speakers on history, politics, economics, and more importantly current issues as well as time for shopping for fair-trade crafts and cultural activities. Unless you tell us otherwise, we will incorporate these activities into your schedule with your input on special interests and requests. This will form the core of your itinerary. If your group or individuals in the group have requests for speakers or have a particular interest in one of the areas of your core itinerary, please let us know and we will happily do what we can to schedule with those interests in mind.

We give special emphasis in all of our Encounters to the voice and experience of the poor and marginalized of El Salvador. Taking our inspiration from Monsignor Romero, we want to give voice to the voiceless. We encourage you to address with your group your level of interest in meeting with people who also represent more powerful groups and other sectors of society.

It is our desire to provide for your group the opportunity to learn from various political, social, economic and religious sectors according to the interests of the participants. But, because your time in El Salvador is limited it isn’t possible to hear a variety of perspectives or see a variety of approaches to every topic you learn about. Your interests surveys will help us understand your priorities.

In order to understand the priorities of the group, we ask you to choose a theme on which to focus your Encounter. This will allow you to deepen your understanding of a particular area of interest and see more than one group or organization who is addressing the issue. Some of the basic itinerary activities can be planned in such a way as to tie into your theme as well if you want to deepen your understanding of a topic.

If not, the basic itinerary activities listed above will be your general overview and your theme will allow you to deepen understanding on that topic. As the organizer, you can either set the Encounter theme, looking for participants who are interested in that topic or, once you have a group together, reach a consensus on the interests of the group and focus theme. Either way, we ask that you communicate to CRISPAZ what you would like the theme to be at the same inquiry packet. Please send this form with your deposit payment.

Claudia Kowel

The experience of immersion in the communities has taught me so much more about the value of community, hard work, simplicity, and love.

2019, Le Moyne College

Vanesa Miranda

This trip reaffirmed my interest in Global Justice. I was most struck about how many present-day issues (migration to the US specifically) was relevant and related to El Salvador’s history.

2019, Boston College, STM

This encounter helped me understand the meaning of a “Church that feels”. It made me feel for the people and this country. It broke my heart and helped me to know that you need peace to have justice.

2019, St. Mary Student Parish at the University of Michigan

Luke Cancilla – 2019, John Carroll Univeristy

This Encounter informed me to a reality that I thought I understood but actually had no idea about. Hearing stories, seeing faces, and getting to know the human beings involved in this issue really truly moved me. These aren’t numbers or characters not connected to me. They are all human beings and I will not allow that to be forgotten or allow them to be dehumanized.

The people of Arcatao taught me about community. What it means to be a part of a community and to allow the community to be a part of them.

2019, John Carroll University

Claudia Kowel

The experience of immersion in the communities has taught me so much more about the value of community, hard work, simplicity, and love.

2019, Le Moyne College

Vanesa Miranda

This trip reaffirmed my interest in Global Justice. I was most struck about how many present-day issues (migration to the US specifically) was relevant and related to El Salvador’s history.

2019, Boston College, STM

This encounter helped me understand the meaning of a “Church that feels”. It made me feel for the people and this country. It broke my heart and helped me to know that you need peace to have justice.

2019, St. Mary Student Parish at the University of Michigan

Luke Cancilla – 2019, John Carroll Univeristy

This Encounter informed me to a reality that I thought I understood but actually had no idea about. Hearing stories, seeing faces, and getting to know the human beings involved in this issue really truly moved me. These aren’t numbers or characters not connected to me. They are all human beings and I will not allow that to be forgotten or allow them to be dehumanized.

The people of Arcatao taught me about community. What it means to be a part of a community and to allow the community to be a part of them.

2019, John Carroll University

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CONTACT:

ABOUT:

USA Office:
808 Brookhill Road
Louisville, Kentucky 40223
(502) 592-5295

El Salvador Office:
Apdo. Postal 2944
Centro de Gobierno
San Salvador
(503) 2225 9031

CRISPAZ is a faith-based organization dedicated to building bridges of solidarity between the Church of the Poor and marginalized communities in El Salvador and communities in the US, Canada, Australia, and other countries through mutual accompaniment.

CRISPAZ is a 501(c)(3) © 2013 Copyright © 2019 CRISPAZ – All Rights Reserved