“There is much that The United States has to offer El Salvador, but there is just as much that El Salvador has to offer the United States. Together, we can develop the approach that will be needed to assure that the economic, social, and political futures of both El Salvador and the United States are humane and progressive.”
– Archbishop Oscar Romero
WHAT IS A SISTER PARISH?
Sistering, or partnering, through SHARE means forming a relationship of accompaniment and support with organized groups of communities in El Salvador as they work towards social and economic justice. Currently, more than 25 U.S.-based groups form these partnerships, including churches, high schools and universities, youth groups, etc. Our sister parish is located in the department (like states) of La Libertad. As Catholics, we are called to be God’s hands and feet as part of the global Church.
ABOUT SHARE EL SALVADOR
SHARE El Salvador is a network of individuals, organizations, and communities in the U.S. working together since 1981 to support the empowerment of impoverished and marginalized communities in El Salvador, as they strive to meet their immediate needs and construct long-term solutions to the problems of poverty, underdevelopment and social injustice. SHARE accompanies grassroots partners in El Salvador as they work to change the structures that keep people poor. SHARE and these local partners promote three Guiding Principles: Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, and Citizen Participation.
Groups in the U.S. are invited to join SHARE in building a new El Salvador today by partnering with groups of organized communities, or “regions,” in one of the six geographical areas where our local grassroots partner, the Association of Rural Communities for the Development of El Salvador (CRIPDES) works. CRIPDES has a base of 300 communities in rural El Salvador, working jointly to promote organization and leadership for a viable model of sustainable development for El Salvador’s rural sector and beyond.
Sistering partners support organizing projects that make it possible for poor communities to have educational trainings, community gardens, microloans, high school scholarships, lending programs, drama and art groups, recreational outlets, and so much more!
Delegates from the parish travel to El Salvador to build relationships with people, communities and projects. Delegates learn about key themes and visit important sites related to El Salvador’s history and current challenges. Week-long trips usually consist of visits to sacred sites, communities and personal homes. The St. Thomas More Newman Center began sending delegates to El Salvador in 2013. Newman’s Campus Ministry program anticipates a Spring Break Mission Trip to El Salvador every other year (typically even years). Contact the Sister Parish coordinator to learn more about trip costs and possible scholarships.
Projects support women and youth organizing initiatives which invest in people and the ability to create structural change for a better life. CRIPDES projects promote leadership, education, civil participation, women’s empowerment, youth development and advocacy at a regional level.
The Newman Center began supporting community efforts in La Libertad in 2013 by establishing a Lenten Project. Funds have been made available to CRIPDES and the sister parish in support of community gardens, women’s leadership training, student scholarships, fish farming and youth development.
2017 Lenten Project: This year’s project focuses on Youth Empowerment. This effort is geared toward training and focusing teens in hopes of weakening the grip of gangs within our partner communities. Our contributions will help fund basic computer programming classes, English lessons, cultural arts education and screen printing training that can be used to generate income.
SAVOR THE FLAVOR OF EL SALVADOR!
El Salvadoran coffee and chocolate will be available for sale after all Masses every 4th Weekend! Coffee sales help raise awareness and funds for scholarships to both send delegates to El Salvador and to help send Salvadoran students to school. Thanks for your support!
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Contact Newman Volunteer Corps at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Helpful Resources:
What it Means to be a Sister Parish — Column by Brother Edward
Planting the Seeds That One Day Will Grow — Column by Eugenia Nathan
Blog Series from January 2016 Delegation — By Joe Bradley
A Day in Chilama 2 — Column by Joe Bradley
He Makes All Things New — Column by Laura Cole
Reflections from El Salvador — Column by Victoria Mechler