Day 13: Thursday, May 8th
After breakfast today we did presentations on our service sites. There was three groups, with the other two groups presenting on a women's shelter and the other on working with gangs. It was interesting to learn about the other sites. Their presentations were very good and I wished that I was able to experience their sites with them!
After our presentations, we went to Shicali, which is a ceramics co-op that is run by people with disabilities. The artwork was very beautiful and I liked that this shop is completely run by members of this diverse population. Although we did not work with this population on our trip, going to the shop and learning about it helped show support. This is a population whose voice needs to be heard in social work, and I'm glad that we were able to spend some time with them.
We returned to the Oasis for lunch and ate with Rocio, who is an activist for the LGBTI community in El Salvador. She talked to us as a group after lunch and shared her story and passion with us. She told us about the incidences of hate crimes against this population and about what issues are important for them in El Salvador. This population receives numerous violations of human rights all over of the world and it was interesting comparing the role of culture as to how this population is received. After she left, we went to the Wall of Memory and Truth at a nearby park. This huge wall is dedicated to all of the missing and murdered victims of the war. Not all of the names are on it, but there are thousands on it so far. The wall is also accompanied by a mural sculpture also on the wall, that depicts the history of El Salvador. This wall really makes the amount of deaths more real than just hearing a number. The wall is also amazing due to the fact that the government did not fund this project, but organizations and individuals did.
After our park visit, we spent some time in a local artisan market. There was many shops and I was able to buy some items.
After coming back to the Oasis, we packed our bags and began getting ready for tomorrow. Tonight is our last night at the Oasis, as we are spending the whole day and night tomorrow at the beach. We went out tonight for our free night out and explored the row of restaurants in downtown San Salvador.
*I am not sure if there will be internet access at the beach tomorrow. Saturday is full of airports, flying, and layovers so I will only be able to blog if the airport allows me to. If I am unable to blog the next two days, no worries because I will definitely be blogging the coming week(s) to reflect on my transition back to the United States culture.