2014 Stanford Delegation

2014 Stanford Delegation
Stanford Delegation in the UCA Chapel

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Universal Connection

Please forgive our short absence but the internet was not available the last few days.

Thursday March 24, we left San Salvador and drove out towards the mountains beginning our journey to the Lower Lempa. Stopping first at Ciudad Romero, we celebrated mass and the anniversary of the assassination of Oscar Romero. These people had formed their community while in exile in Panama, and had come to this region after the war to continue their fight. Next, we visited the ACUDESBAL office, which is the headquarters of the United Communities Project a group of around 29 communities that have come together to help one another. Here we talked to the people who worked in these offices and learned about the projects that are being implemented in order to help the community. Next, we were welcomed by the community and introduced to our host families. There were five pairs and the rest of us were alone in our host stays. We had the afternoon with our families, and then went to a concert in Romero celebrating the life of Monsignor Romero.

However, what I would like to talk about is connection. The connection that many of us feel with our families, siblings, and friends. This week in El Salvador has opened my eyes to the extraordinary power of relationships. My host family talked of their experience in the war and the amount of struggle they underwent together. My host father said to me, "If one of us had food, we all had food. There were times where we did not eat for a week, but we struggled together. Now, I have this land and would never give it up no matter the circumstances." A common struggle linked the brothers and sisters of the war to help one another no matter the situation. Similarly, Comunidad Octavio Ortiz (where we stayed with our host family) had bonds that were deeper than anything I have ever seen. It was the embodiment of the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. With each family invested in the community there was a sense of trust and respect amongst all. People thought about a future community, and not a future life for themselves.

In many ways I have seen this bond grow in our own group. Slowly we have shared our stories, reflected with each other, and built lasting memories. This experience has shaped us all in our own way, shown us a new way to look at the world, and will forever connect us in our journeys. I hope that through our experience and better understanding of the world we will never forget how powerful togetherness is. I can only thank the people who made this experience possible and took us into their lives. We are forever indebted to the people of El Salvador, and must commit ourselves to fight for their better future. Together this world can do anything.

1 comment:

  1. My daughter Emily was on this trip last year and after reading the blogs we both regretted not going this year! The depth of sharing and insights in this, and all of the other posts, is motivating and inspiring.