You may remember that back in February I visited Guatemala to tell stories and lead workshops in storytelling and the dramatic arts. Well, in August a friend in El Salvador who had seen the photos from my Guatemala trip asked if I would be willing to come to her country and do the same. As is my habit when it comes to overseas invitations, I said yes!
This month I spent a week in El Salvador, dividing my time between the towns of Merliot (just outside of San Salvador), Usulutan and Gualache. While there I had lots of opportunities to share stories (in Spanish!) at churches, feeding programs and schools. I taught a total of 4 workshops to everyone from church leaders to school teachers to young people interested in the creative arts! At times, the ages of the participants ranged from 12 years old to late 60s! But the wonderful thing was seeing how open and receptive everyone was and how eager they were to learn and put the lessons into practice — some as early as the following day with their own students!
While in El Salvador I also had the chance to visit El Boqueron (a crater) and to make a stop at the port/beach for some delicious seafood and fun in the waves. Throughout my time, I enjoyed more than my fair share of the local fair, namely pupusas, thick tortillas made of corn or rice and filled with such goodies as cheese, beans, and veggies, or all manner of meat for the carnivores out there! With some tomato salsa and curtido, a cabbage salad with peppers, they are absolutely delicioso!
It’s amazing to me how in one week I can grow so close to people as we share our lives and stories together. I already miss the dear friends that I made during my stay. They treated me with such warmth, kindness and generosity that I felt like I had been there much longer, and I look forward to the day when I can see them again. At one of the churches that I visited, the pastors did some detective work and discovered that I love to tell multicultural folktales using traditional dress. Thus, they presented me with the beautiful Salvadoran dress that you see me wearing in the picture above. I won’t be able to put it on without thinking of them, and now I am on the lookout for the perfect Salvadoran folktale to accompany it so I can wear it even more often!
My trip led to future invitations to visit other countries such as Bolivia, Panama and Venezuela. I may not be able to get to these places in the next year or so, but I am hopeful that one day in the future I may be able to make a tour and hit each of these locations and possibly more! Only time will tell! In the meantime, I’m thankful for the great experience I just had and for all of the amazing journeys and adventures that God has allowed me to embark upon thus far!
Below you will find a gallery of images from my trip. Enjoy!