Learning About El Salvador at Vacation Bible School

It's summer in the US, and that means it's time for Vacation Bible School/Vacation Bible Camp! 

This year, many Lutheran Churches in the  ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) have access to a free VBS/VBC curriculum from ELCA Word Hunger.  The 2021 theme is River of Life and features stories about water access and conservation from around the world.  On Day 2, the water story comes from El Salvador.  

Our church is using the River of Life curriculum this year, as are many churches in the Greater Milwaukee Synod, which is a companion synod of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church.  Did I mention that Milwaukee is also featured in this curriculum? Yup, it's going to be a fun and familiar year for us!

I noticed the Day 2 story does not include any photos from El Salvador.  Fortunately, I have some great photos of the Río San Antonio, which is featured in the story.  Our sister church pastor is also one of the community organizers for disaster mitigation near the river.  With his help, I created a couple of resources which we can use as part of our Vacation Bible Camp. I also got a link to a cool video created by the communications ministry of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church, which shows kids enjoying a clean San Antonio River. Whether or not you or your church are using the River of Life curriculum, you may enjoy learning a little bit about the Río San Antonio, near Nejapa. 

Any of these resources can be shared in a small group, on a big screen, or via whatever online delivery system you are using for your VBS/VBC.  They should be useful for any age group.

River of Life Day 2 slide show:  created with Google Slides - if you download it you may need to tweak the format a bit.

River of Life Day 2 Story Video:  available via this YouTube link, but also imbedded here so you can watch it.

Boys, Girls, Snow Cones and the San Antonio River: This video was created by the Salvadoran Lutheran Church and shows kids learning about water protection. You can see the kids' workbooks entitled "Water is a Gift from God."  The children did a clean-up project in the river and then celebrated by eating snow cones. (Minuta is the Salvadoran word for snow cone.) The San Antonio River region is an area with heavy risks for flooding and landslides due to deforestation, construction which prevents water from being absorbed into the soil, and contamination from the large number of homes in the zone. 

Older children and adults may wish to read additional stories about the landslide which occurred in this river zone in October 2020:

Let's learn and have some fun this summer, enjoying God's gift of water and working to conserve it, protect it, and clean up our messes.


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