Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Perquin, El Salvador

Perquin is a small community in the eastern part of El Salvador. During the civil war of the 80s and 90s this was a remote area with guerrilla fighting and home to an anti-war radio station. Today there is a Museum of the Revolution in town as well as a lot of art. There are large, bright, colorful murals painted all throughout the town. (I found some information and history about the murals here and here).

Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, we stayed in a beautiful hotel with cabins, a hotel, and a restaurant with delicious, homemade food.
The restaurant 
We had heard that an ex-MCCer owned the hotel but didn't know much more. 
When we arrived to the hotel a book was being advertised for sale written by the owner. We had a chance to interact with him some, and we also bought his book to add to our library (see his website here).

He was a mennonite from Delaware who came to Honduras on the border of El Salvador in the early 80s with MCC to work with refugees fleeing the war in ES. Throughout the course of the next several years he lived and worked in El Salvador (with other NGOs) and spent a lot of time in conflict zones. His book tells his experiences of working and living in the midst of an intense civil war. 

Eventually, he built this hotel to employ several local people and to remain in El Salvador. The hotel and the purchase of his book supports a local school in the area that has the highest poverty rate in the country. 
The view
The hotel is beautiful, clean, comfortable, and the food was delicious. They make all of the jams and sauces. We definitely plan to stay here whenever we need to visit this area.
The purpose of our trip was to deliver our worker to her host family as well as to visit the school that we partner with (and where she will be working for the year). On the way there we ran into a parade.
We enjoyed our visit to the school. There are several amazing stories surrounding this community. This mural pictures Father Roger, a Belgian priest who arrived to El Salvador before the war and stayed and lived and worked with the people alongside the fighting. He is connected to one of our partner organizations. He too, has a book, and I've been reading that to learn more about his experiences during the war. 
 Inside the school:
 Simple instructions for using the toilet and washing hands:
 "Cuantos anos tienen?" (How old are you?) 5!
 Pre-kinder students:
We spent some time in the central plaza of this sweet community. 

We continue to enjoy visiting each of the locations throughout El Salvador and Guatemala where MCC partners and works. 

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