How Can You Help?

So you’re ready to help but don’t know where to start. Maybe you’re not ready to pick up your life and move to a rural community in El Salvador…

Don’t fret! You do have what it takes to make a difference!

There are as many ways to help as there are people willing to lend a hand. They involve differing degrees of time, money, energy, resources and skills. It all depends of what you have to offer and what you’re comfortable with! The following list is just a jumping-off point – and keep in mind that new ideas and ways to be involved are always surfacing!

CRISPAZ 5Y Strategy

El Salvador is changing. So is CRISPAZ. Given the significant changes in the country related to violence, democracy, and human rights, affecting the most vulnerable, we engaged our staff and partners from the United States, Canada, and Australia and organizations and communities in El Salvador to learn from the past and generate ideas to address these new realities with creativity and determination, to see what we can do to address these changes.

2022 Peter Hinde CRISPAZ Peace Award

On Tuesday, October 25, 2022, Marie Dennis  will receive the Peter Hinde CRISPAZ Peace Award 2022 for her work in promotion of Peace through non-violence around the world.  She will be recognized at Caldwell Auditorium, Caldwell Hall at Catholic University of America, DC at a 6pm – 8pm event. 

The Peter Hinde CRISPAZ Peace Award 2021

On Tuesday, October 26, 2021, the Casa de la Solidaridad (usually referred to simply as “Casa”) will receive the Peter Hinde CRISPAZ Peace Award 2021 for its work in solidarity with Salvadoran communities from 1999 to 2017. Trena & Kevin Yonkers-Talz, who were the co-directors of Casa, will receive the award on behalf of the program.

2020 CRISPAZ Peace Award Honorees.

Sr. Betty Campbell and Fr. Peter Hinde, O.Carm will be honored with the 2020 CRISPAZ Peace Award.


This year’s award ceremony will held virtually on November 17, 7:00 PM-8:00 PM EST.  Link to virtual event will be available here on our website on the day of the event.


Building relationships in El Salvador

Mei Lin McElhill ’20 reflects on the ISP trip to El Salvador and how it challenged her to be immersed in another culture and to be open to learning.

“I am ruined!”

On May 31, I – along with 13 amazing people from the University – had the privilege of traveling to El Salvador for a journey that would leave me speechless and ruined (in a good way). El Salvador is one of the immersion-based International Service Trips sponsored by Campus Ministries in partnership with a faith-based organization called Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ).

CRISPAZ focuses on building solidarity with marginalized communities whose values are reflected in foundational words such as justice, empowerment, accompaniment and solidarity. This immersion-based trip challenged me to completely immerse myself into another culture and to be open to learning.

Read more here


Mission Moment – Canisius College

The Office of Campus Ministry offered a new immersion experience this May to explore the realities, causes, and effects of migration. A 10-person delegation, led by Associate Campus Minister Kaitlyn Buehlmann ’14, along with President John Hurley and his wife, Maureen, began their immersion in El Salvador, learning about the root causes and effects of migration. They then traveled to the U.S./Mexico border in Nogales, AZ, and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico to see the work being done by the Kino Border Initiative (KBI). Canisius partnered with faith-based organization CRISPAZ for both legs of their journey. The group was challenged by its Executive Director Francisco Mena Ugarte to “remember the importance of listening to understand instead of listening to respond.” Buehlmann said this idea “was a powerful conversation that helped set the tone for the week.”

Read highlights from the group’s experiences here


My View: Lessons in compassion on a trip to El Salvador

By John J. Hurley

Man’s inhumanity to man is a recurrent theme in literature and sadly, in real life. From the story of Cain and Abel in the Bible to the present day atrocities in Syria, humans continue to exhibit an astonishing depravity when it comes to their fellow man.

I recalled this unfortunate theme recently as my wife and I accompanied Canisius College students to El Salvador and the Kino Border Initiative on the Arizona-Mexico border. The purpose of the trip was to give our students deeper insights into the immigration debate raging in the United States. We wanted them to learn about the Central American migrants’ experience upon arriving at the U.S. border, but also about the conditions in their home countries that cause so many to pull up stakes, leave families behind and embark on a treacherous journey northward.

Read the entire piece here

Catholic Outlook Online Magazine: Students gain new perspective on border issues.

Ohio voters may have favored a more restricted approach to immigrations in 2016, but for 17 students from John Carroll University in Cleveland, change may be coming.

A campus ministry mission called “Crossing Borders for Justice – El Salvador Encounter 2019” (it is actually a CRISPAZ program) stopped in the pastoral center offices at the Diocese of Tucson Jan. 10, having spent nearly a week in El Salvador. After a morning gathering and a presentation, the group observed deportation proceedings at the local US District Court before heading to Nolages.

Continue reading on page 4 – click here. 

El Salvador immersion an eye-opener for Mt. Lebanon resident

Access to the Internet, as you might imagine, is somewhat limited in El Salvador.

And so a group of John Carroll University students visiting the tiny Central American nation in early January were lacking their usual lines of communication, and as such were unaware of the latest happenings back home.

“We saw a newspaper as we were in the grocery store with Donald Trump’s face blown up,” sophomore Julie Booth recalled. “Our translator read us the article, and at least personally, I was enraged. I have always been proud that I’m an American, and in that moment, I immediately felt embarrassed and ashamed.”

The article, of course, ran in the wake of the disparaging, vulgar language attributed to the U.S. president about the relative merits of certain countries, El Salvador chief among them.

Read the entire piece here




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