After our morning meeting with the Pastoral Team we visited the community of Los Yanez. I love visiting that community. The people are beautiful in every way imaginable; mind, body, and spirit. When we arrived, they were warm and welcoming. It’s been almost a year since I’ve visited so I was very excited.
However, they are struggling. Suffering. Just like all the other cantons (villages). We met with the Directiva in Los Yanez to learn about the struggles and needs they have in their community. Water is a big issue. It has been very dry in the community which has resulted in various crises for people. The mayor’s office has been helping out by bringing water to the community every 8 days to fill some small water tanks. The people then take their cántaros (big water jugs) to the canton center to fill them up and then they haul the large jugs back to their houses. However, the water usually only lasts for 4 days. I’m not sure how they survive the other four days until the water comes again. I can’t even imagine. It’s scary to think about.
Nutrition is another area in which they struggle. Last year most families had a bad harvest. The crops dried up and people lost a lot. Many have had to resort to buying corn and beans, which leaves no money for other essentials like oil, salt, sugar, rice, hygiene projects, etc. Sometimes the government helps out. But they tend to pick and chose who will and who will not receive help. Now, there’s not always a rhyme or reason as to why some families get chosen to receive help and some don’t. It’s just the luck of the draw, which is pretty sickening when you’re talking about people’s lives. The community is hoping and praying for the rain to come soon.
There were a few other things we discussed but we ran short on time because the rain was coming and the road we use to travel from Los Yanez to Berlín is dangerous in the rain. We pulled out the two piñatas we brought and let the kids (and adults) have at it. It’s so much fun to have piñatas in the cantons. People in this community don’t get piñatas or candy that often. I loved piñatas when I was little and I still love them today. I didn’t participate but I did get some good photos and video. It’s more fun to watch.
Now on to a different subject. Below is an insert from my 2013 El Salvador blog:
“Josseline came over to me and asked if I wanted to see the baby she had been telling me about. I said I did and followed her over to the communal house where they did the cooking for everyone. There in the hammock was Marleny’s tiny baby girl. She was 2 months old. Marleny told that that her name was Alicia (which is my name in Spanish). She said to me in Spanish, “I always said that if I had a baby girl I would name her Alicia after you because it is such a beautiful name and you are important to our family. I’ve named her Alicia in your honor.”
I was stunned. I was speechless. I couldn’t believe that someone had named their baby after me. I honestly don’t remember much of I what said. I think I managed to get out a couple words about how honored I felt and what a beautiful little girl she was. What a legacy. I asked Michelle to take pictures of baby Alicia and me. I talked to Alicia and let her know that she was a very special little girl and that she was going to be very smart and kind hearted just like her mom when she grew up. I also told her that I’d be back to visit her as soon as I could. I hope I’m able to make it back on a regular basis so I can watch her grow up.”
Well, I was blessed to be able to see little Alicia and her family today. She is 2½ years old! She walks like a pro and even talked a little to me. She wasn’t afraid of me or hesitant when I held her, and her mom explained that she shows Alicia photos of the two of us so she can get to know me. I gave her lots of hugs and kisses and talked to her about how special she is to me.
Soon it was time to leave and we said farewell to everyone. I hope I can get back to the community soon. I miss the people and everyone else in El Salvador when I’m gone. Please pray for rain and a good harvest for the people of El Salvador.
Water collection tanks
Alicia's younger brother
With the girls
Love these little ladies!
I tried to get them to do a funny picture
They wanted their picture taken
Lots of fun
She's always got something in her mouth