I can't even begin to express how amazing, eye opening and life altering this experience has been for me. The children of El Salvador have changed me, touched me, affected me, and will forever be a part of my heart.
The poverty in the country is nothing like what we see in the U.S, yet these kids smile, play and laugh all day long. The group I traveled with, worked in a small village called San Luis Talpa where we mixed concrete, poured concrete, dug holes, cut grass, filled holes, etc for a community of houses funded by the fuller center for housing. The families that qualify for these simple, concrete homes are amongst the poorest, usually coming from homes made of tin with dirt floors. No running water, no bathroom.
All of the kids in this community have touched me. They remained by our sides the entire week which made saying goodbye extremely difficult. The boy pictured last is Oscar. He is 13 years old and he currently lives in a house made of tin with a dirt floor. Oscar doesn't speak any english, I don't speak any spanish (must learn), yet somehow Oscar and I connected and formed a really special bond. Oscar and his family worked with us all week as a payment for one of the houses. He wants to go to college and become an accountant. On our last day at the work site Oscar approached me, took my hand in his and tied a bracelet around my wrist that he made. He told me he wished it was more beautiful but he only had one color to work with. (it IS extremely beautiful. A greenish turquoise color that will remain on my wrist for as along as it will last) I can't think of Oscar without tearing up. The fact that he made me a bracelet (on a dirt floor) moves me more than I'll ever be able to express.
Always in my heart......
Angel, Santos, Manuel, Pablo, Flor, Armondo, Eric, Michael, Fernando, Salvador and Oscar.