Hola from El Salvador!

Kat with Rosa Rivera, building a sanctuary for the remains of people killed in the civil war.

Kat with Rosa Rivera, building a sanctuary for the remains of people killed in the civil war.

So, we’ve arrived!
You know, I think this trip is going to be quite something…

“Me gusta cuando me llama Katerina!”

Spanish lessons from Biggie Smalls’ song Big Papa taught me that! Impressive, I know. I’ve been given this new name (Katerina, not Big Papa) and I love it! I’ve got to roll my r, which isn’t as easy for me as I wish it was.

It’s been quite a trip already. The sun, the colours of the buildings, the volcanoes(!!!) it’s glorious.

El Salvador – for those who do not know – is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America, about the size of Wales, with a population of 7 million. It is 22 years out of a civil war (1980-1992), so really recent, brutally taking the lives of approximately 75,000 Salvadorans.

Hearing stories of what went on has been tough and I don’t feel right saying that because I’m just listening, you know? These people were there, living it. It’s heart-rending. It makes me think of the Sri Lankan civil war – with the army completely losing its sense of humanity. Dios mio, I’m struggling to comprehend how such inhumane crimes can be committed.

Our time so far has been spent saying hello to the communities and organisations we’ll be living with over the next few weeks. There’s a real strength in the people we’ve met, a strength of heart, a strength in character, and they’re so welcoming.

I’m really looking forward to spending more time with them!

Next stop: Puentecitos (translation: Little Bridges)

Until my next blog. x

Quite an introduction to a country for Katarina (or Kat as we know her!)
In a country still coming to terms with such atrocities, it was never going to be an easy ride. But when you step into the gap, you sometimes don’t know where it’s going to lead you.

If you think you could fill Kat’s shoes next year on our Gap Year programme, have a look at http://www.cafod.org.uk/Education/CAFOD-Gap-year for more information.

More when Kat’s next blog arrives.

3 thoughts on “Hola from El Salvador!

  1. Hi Kat, I’m Chris Lappine from the CAFOD Liverpool Office and have the wonderful opportunity of visiting Puentocitos with the Romero Trust in 2010 please say hello to Julie and Fidel and tell them I’ve sent an email with photos. Take care.

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