International Programs: El Salvador
Little Friends for Peace partners with Holy Trinity Catholic Church for a peace program at Maria Madre de los Pobres in El Salvador. Sharing our peace curriculum with the community, LFFP has facilitated family workshops, teacher trainings, and community peace circles for the past four years. We hope to build sustainable peace programs, counteract current gang violence, and educate the children and people in the parish about peace practices. LFFP is proud to collaborate with the community members and accompany the people on their journey to build peaceful communities.
Queremos la paz!
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MJ's Words on El Salvador
Four years ago Little Friends For Peace was invited to do a Peace Camp in LaChacra, El Salvador at Maria Madre de los Pobres parish. The invitation came from Jean Johnson, a member of Holy Trinity parish in Georgetown , WDC. Holy Trinity is a sister parish of of Maria Madre do Los Pobres and they have a God parent program as well. They send financial support for children to help them get their education. The parish has a school called CAPI and it's rooted in the message of Romero. The principal is committed to social justice and building peace with non violence.
We have done the peace camp for the last three summers along with training the staff in the skills of non violence and loving the person your struggleing with and how to live and work together peacefully. This summer we went back to reconnect and strengthen our relationship and hear the plan the Peace Team put together to answer the violence .
It was another moving trip as we connected with the poeple and visited their homes. The poverty is high and the conditions are bad. Violence is on the rise . However , the people are strong and have deep faith . They are sad about the challenges and the violence but their hearts are full of love and their faith is strong . They live the message of Oscar Romero : love is stronger then the violence. We met Jesus over and over in the people and felt the gift of communion as they opened up to us. One mother shared her cross as she told me the gangs came and forced her and her 3 children out of her home as they took it over. Now she has to live with her sister so she can teach at the school and the 3 children live with her mother an hour a way . She is sad but she said , "at least I get to see them on the weekend." The children are so full of joy and smiles and want to connect and play and do activities. We asked them, "What brings you peace?" They said , "people sharing and caring for each other. "
It truly is Holy Ground , Holy People and they live the cross and the Resurrection. They love the peace train and say it helps to give them tools on how to solve their problems without violence.
The people are crying out for peace and they have hope it will come as they plant the seeds of Peace each day by loving and caring.
~MJ Park, on trip to El Salvador, July 2014