Saturday, December 10, 2011

Walk to the cross

I had a chance not too long ago to walk to the cross. The cross is a big, white cross that stands at the top of a huge hill. I say hill, but it’s more like a mountain. I’m not sure how the cross got there, but I know it’s been there for a while, and everyone in Berlín knows “la cruz” (the cross).

I had wanted to get to the cross in September when Sue and Nancy were here, but after I started the walk I had to turn back because I’d become incredibly sick. So I’m really glad I got the opportunity to go. Walking to the cross was one thing on my to-do list. I’d only been up once before and that was last year.

I walked up with the gym teacher from my school, another teacher from the school and her granddaughter, a student from my school, and several people from the US and other parts of El Salvador. The people from the US and other Salvadorans are related to the secretary at my school. I was excited to meet everyone.

We met in front of the school around 7:30am. It takes about an hour to walk up to the cross and the walk is strenuous. We wanted to get an early start to avoid the heat of the sun. After meeting and making introductions we started the trek up. While some parts of the trail aren’t too bad other parts are very steep for a long period of time. Along the way we passed lots of flowers of all sorts of colors. I saw some flowers that were very blue and some orange ones that are called flor de muerte (death flower).

Starting the trek

Up and up we go

A look down at Berlin

Keep going

I can see my house!
(Not really)

San Vicente

A race to the top

Flowers growing out of the wall

Are we there yet?

We also saw a lot of coffee. This time of the year the coffee is starting to ripen. The coffee cherries start out green, then turn yellow, and finally red. Several people were out in the coffee field (finca) picking coffee. Close to the top we passed by a coffee processing place. Lots of coffee was sitting outside to dry. I could also see the machines they use to take the skin off the coffee before it’s laid out to dry.

Coffee cherries

Picking coffee

Hard work

Posing for the camera

Private property - the coffee place

The processing area

To the right is coffee laying out to dry

Finally we made it to the cross. The air was cool and I almost felt chilly. We all found a seat underneath it and took in the view. You could see the entire town of Berlín and some of the cantons. I was able to see the pine trees that stand in the park and the church next to them. One of the teachers had brought binoculars that we passed around. Someone else had brought snacks that we enjoyed while we sat

Beautiful flowers

We made it!

You can see the whole town

A closer look

In front of the cross

There we are

Looking up


After a while we started walking again. I wasn’t sure where we were going but I was excited to find out. Soon we came upon a field full of lush grass. Parts of the grass looked almost purple. We saw a small pond nearby and I told the kids that they should go for a swim. One of them actually did! Then we walked back to the meadow. I sat down and marveled at my surroundings. The air was sweet and the sky was so blue. It made me feel good to be alive.

Continuing on

A machete

Corn fields

Running across the meadow

Lush grasses

Standing by the small pond


Don't push me in!

Hundreds of flowers

Open and free

I love these flowers

Taking a rest

Blue skies smiling at me

Vibrant colors

About 30 minutes later we began our walk back to the cross. From there we headed back down the mountain to Berlín. It had been a wonderful adventure.

Heading back

Saying goodbye to the cross

A glimpse of San Vicente

A field of flowers

On our way down

Here we are!

Underneath the black diamond are the
pine trees in the park in Berlin close to 
 the Pastoral House


Matt said...

I'm so glad you got to go to the cross one more time. These pictures really capture some of the incredilbe beauty of the Salvadoran mountains. Looks like a wonderful day.

Lisa said...

Wow I would have loved to do that too. Must go back to El Salvador soon!