The Art for El Salvador Delegation

Last week, we had a small but mighty delegation from Art for El Salvador, an Iowa-based grassroots organization that seeks to use art as a means to uplift impoverished communities in rural El Salvador. For the past several years they have been raising funds to build a school, so we offered to connect them to a school in the Berlín area that was in need of their help. We introduced them to the community of Mediagua, where the community has long wanted to renovate their old, crumbling school building and add new classrooms so that children will have access to grades 7-9. Most children in this community, particularly the girls, end their education at 6th grade because their parents feel that it is too far (and too dangerous) to send them to school in downtown Berlín.

After several days of visiting with the teachers, students, and families of Caserío Mediagua, the Art for El Salvador representatives decided that Mediagua was the right place to build the school!

Of course, the community would love for the school construction to begin in late September so that the children finishing 6th grade in November might have a chance to continue their education next year. But that means that the Art for El Salvador folks have their work cut out for them to raise enough money to begin the school construction in two short months!

Be sure to check out the photos below, but more importantly, head over to Art for El Salvador’s own website here. Their organization has an amazing story behind it–learn about it, share it with others, and please consider contributing to their efforts to improve educational access here in Berlín!

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Niah and Maria, two of the sisters who founded Art for El Salvador, meet with the teachers at the school and members of the Directiva about the project.

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Maria reads a book to the children in the Mediagua school. Kids EVERYWHERE love being read to!

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Oscar, the president of the community, helps a first-grader design a custom bookmark. It was a really fun craft!

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A kindergartener shows off her bookmarks for the camera.

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Members of the Pastoral Team and the delegation walk the streets of Mediagua to visit the community’s families.

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Children laugh as they review a photo of themselves from their house visit.

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A boy poses with the friendship bracelet that he learned how to make.

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The children also enjoyed breaking piñatas and eating cake!

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Piñatas make great hats. Really.

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The community’s vice president poses with his daughter. She is finishing 6th grade this year and will not be able to continue on to 7th grade if Mediagua does not have a new school–and a new paid teacher position–by January.

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Niah, Maria, the Pastoral Team, teachers, students, Directiva members, and the project’s construction supervisors all pose together. This is going to make for a wonderful and important project!

Again, be sure to go look at Art for El Salvador’s site and read about their story here.

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