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Showing posts from February, 2015

Off the Beaten Path: Crossing Lake Ilopango

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In the dark of the night, el norte began to shake the trees and rattle the windows.  We set out in the early morning, hoping that the coming of the north wind would not prevent us from navigating the waters of Lake Ilopango.

A Salvadoran friend, whom we have known since she was a little girl, rode along with us as we traveled the highway east of the city.  We descended toward the lake and she pointed out the road to our left, "for the tourists," she said, "everything is more expensive and you have to pay to access the lake."  We took the low road, the one to the right which she called "the way of the dry palms."  Her mom and dad and little sister would come here on weekends to have cook-outs and swim with family and friends.  As we approached the lake shore we could see some new development.  The local municipality built a long concrete patio and rents spaces to small establishments which sell food and beverages.  "Now it has gotten expensive over h…

Off the Beaten Path: Puerta del Diablo

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When there is fog, you can see nothing...

When there is rain, the footing is treacherous...

But on a bright, sunny, windy day, you can climb to the top and see the world!

It is not hard to imagine shamans telling tales of this place as ancestors gathered around an evening fire or guerrilla fighters passing long hours in the caves inventing stories of good and evil.

The people of Panchimalco say that long, long ago the devil and the archangel were fighting in their town.  The angel prevailed, casting the devil from the town with great force.  The devil hurled uncontrollably into the rock cliff, his body breaking through the rocks and plummeting to the floor of the valley below.  The great gap in the rocky ridge is known as The Devil's Door.  Some people say that from across the valley, the two sides of the doorway appear to curve upward, like the devil's horns.

Over the years, as we have passed below the Puerta del Diablo in an old bus or car, various storytellers have shared …

Mission of Healing 2015

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The Misión de Sanación Integral: Norte (Holistic Mission of Healing in the Northern Micro-Region) has concluded.  More than 630 men, women and children received attention, and 66 people volunteered to make the 4-day event happen.  There were a few challenges, as always, but overall the people who came from across the north-central part of the country seemed healthier and more in touch with their local healthcare providers than ever before.

We rented school buses and brought people to Fe y Esperanza - a former refugee camp owned by the Lutheran Church.  Volunteers came from the participating churches, our US companion synod and the Salvadoran healthcare system.  The event was set up as a rotation, and families were invited to pass through different stations during their half-day experience.  Each day brought different communities in the morning and in the afternoon.

Here is a photo diary of this year's Mission of Healing...