“This encounter was able to pull me out of my own reality and to grow in an understanding of “other”. I have witnessed the powerful ways that God is working in El Salvador through its people who encounter God so purely. In response, I feel called to more deeply contemplate how I can better give my life away for others, and to do this while holding closely the stories I have heard here.”

– Alexander Garoutte, Boston College STM, 2015

“This encounter showed the truth within this beautiful country and just helped to capture the struggles faced in the everyday life as well as struggles caused by a recent war.”

– Dana Parker, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, 2016

“It is an experience that I know will continue to have a great impact on my life long after I leave.”

– Rachel Withington, Clemson United Methodist Church Youth Group, 2015

“I now see the value of international solidarity. We each can make a difference by being international in how we talk, what we buy, how we vote and in the decisions we make as future leaders in our communities.”

– Alexandra Marshall, Fordham University, 2016

“Thank you for the opportunity to gain insight to the reality of El Salvador that is so very different from how it is wrongfully construed in the media. Poverty and violence are absolutely problems, but I now feel a responsibility to live the truth of the culture here that is dignified, intelligent, spiritual, and human and in solidarity with others who want to work for peace and justice.”

– Rhianna McChesney, John Carroll University, 2015

“It has been a blessing to visit El Salvador. I can only hope that I can do justice in sharing the story of the people of El Salvador. Feeling the story helps to learn the story. We could have all just read a book or two to learn the story, but it wouldn’t have allowed us to feel the story and stand in kinship and solidarity.”

– Matthew Bazar, Loyola Marymount Staff and Faculty 2016

“The media in both, El Salvador and the US, do not portray El Salvador in the beautiful light that they deserve. The community of Papaturro has incredible jovenes organizing the government, and stories like this should be told just as often as stories of terror and violence.”

– Kirsten Truskowski, Scranton University, 2015

“I’m not sure I can just yet, but know that my heart and desire to serve is strong and we will continue to seek ways to serve the people in El Salvador.”

– John Petrie, Mechanicsburg Rotary Club, 2016

“CRISPAZ was able to create and experience that changed the way I think about things and strengthened my faith for the better. I feel a personal responsibility toward the people I have met and those I didn’t meet to help them achieve the justice and peace that they have been longing for so long.”

– Maggie Longhran, Loyola Marymount Ignacio Companions, 2015

“I feel I have been shown so much more than a snapshot of reality. In my work with student groups every day I help to plan their activities and events, when I return from this Encounter, I plan on helping students to add a social issue component to their activities.”

– Patricia Cummings, The Jesuit Center at the University of Scranton, 2016

“This was an amazing experience and I learned so much about myself and the people of El Salvador. I can’t wait to take what I learned and share it with my community. The people of El Salvador will forever be in my heart.”

– Krista Pinyar, University of San Diego, 2016

“The homestay was a wonderful experience where we got to hear individual stories and really experience the community. That experience created a lot of positive, hopeful emotions.”

– Anonymous, Dominican University, 2016

“Please continue to try and inspire kids to come on these trips. This has been the most eye-opening and life-changing week of my entire life.”

– Anonymous, Moeller HS, 2015

“I feel I have been shown so much more than a snapshot of reality. In my work with student groups every day I help to plan their activities and events, when I return from this Encounter, I plan on helping students to add a social issue component to their activities.”

– Patricia Cummings, The Jesuit Center at the University of Scranton, 2016

“I feel called to action. I want to go home and make this trip mean something.”

– Jordan Barnett, St. Ignatius College Prep, 2016

“CRISPAZ helped me “feel with the church” for what I am truly grateful. It has given me the fire to drive me for justice out of love for people who are oppressed.”

– Michael McGrath, Xavier University, 2015

“This Encounter allowed me to find passion in global justice, through seeing and learning about things we so often take for granted.”

– Casey Hendricks, Santa Clara University, 2015

“This Encounter has allowed me to experience the very powerful and painful side of immigration justice. It has motivated me to into how I can incorporate this type of social justice issues into my future career. Both in clinic and research domains.”

– Andrea Maxwell, St. Mary Student Parish, 2016

“Before I came, I had done some reading and felt like I basically understood the plight. Honestly, I had no idea! And in all that we learned, I feel very small and almost ashamed of the bubble I was living in. I’m not sure where I see myself going with this information. I’m still processing it, but I can say that I’m leaving a changed person and will do my part to share the Salvadoran story.”

– Deanna Chappie, St. Michael & Sts. Peter and Paul Churches, 2016

“I am encouraged to believe that small steps matter.”

– Janet Walton, Union Theological Seminary, 2015

“This encounter really showed me that El Salvador is a country more than gang violence. I learned that these people are important and each person has an identity and a story.”

– Lilia Sciarretti, University of Dayton, 2016

“Living in the homestays and the town of Carasque made me open my eyes to simplicity and solidarity. I was overwhelmed by the amount of love and struggle of these people. The information about the massacres and other political issues was very powerful. The influence of Romero showed me the true power of God and his commitment to his people.”

– Sophia Murray Carroll HS, 2015

“I believe, with my whole heart, in the beauty and grace that CRISPAZ offers its participants. Keep up the great work! It is absolutely beautiful and touching.”

– Sarah Cornwell, University of Detroit Mercy, 2016

“Encounter allowed me to find myself in a country far from home. Being a completely new experience, it is impossible to ever completely prepare for it. Thus, in a moment of vulnerability and exposure, the genuinely and honestly produced is absolutely unique. The solidarity concluded, thus, makes the connection with the Salvadorans absolute and complete. This whole journey is an emotional ride.”

– Patricia Bryan, Loyola University Maryland, 2015

“While here your heart can’t help but be moved. I want to carry the feelings I’ve felt here with me forever. I feel so passionate and want to help the injustice, dehumanization, etc. and change how I can.”

– Lily Deinhart, Mount Notre Dame High School, 2016




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