Monday July 15th:
We went to Santa Catarina Masahuat´s Townhall and were received by the Mayor, we explained our purpose in the municipality and he explained that in every community you will find an ADESCO (Communal Development Association) that alongside the Townhall work to execute projects in benefit of the population, he also mentioned that he welcomes constructive criticism and suggestions so that together we can improve the work.
Tuesday July 16th:
We visited the Los Shull Community School with the national and international group, we did different activities with the children in order to bond. We were received very well by the teachers and students of the School.
Wednesday July 17th:
We visited the School from El Escalón to also interact with the children and to bring them some fun and to explain why we were there, we felt really good because they delighted us with a Folkloric dance.
Thursday July 18th:
We head back to the Los Shull school to have a meeting with the student´s parents to introduce ourselves as volunteers and to explain the work that we would be doing and the fact that we needed their support.
On that same date we met a special little girl that communicates through sign language, her teacher introduced her to us and she gave us volunteers a special code that she would use to identify us. Her name is Vanessa, she´s 11 years old and comes from a poor family just like the rest of the children of the community. What was very interesting about her is her strong spirit, despite the difficulties she encounters. Vanessa has to make a double effort than the rest of the children, besides school she has to travel every Tuesday and Wednesday to a special school in Sonsonate; although she would like to attend every day, unfortunately it is not financially possible; her special school is paid one day by her mother and one day by the teachers from the Los Shull school. The Los Shull School is very poor and therefore is incapable of providing Vanessa the kind of schooling she needs to fully develop her skills.
In her classroom we found a sign language alphabet.
Vanessa´s parents have always struggled alongside her teachers to get her a hearing aid device but due to high costs it has been impossible.
That same afternoon all of the volunteers met in the Urban Area to talk about roles that we will all be sharing, these are: Media, Visual Media, Community Liaison, Language, and M&E.
Friday July 19th:
As volunteers we met to discuss the most relevant issues of each community (where we as nationals live) . We separated in groups and at the end we shared our thoughts and opinions. Also, the work plan, indicators, investigation methods and objectives; in the first cycle we will work on 1 Solid Waste campaign, 1 Solid waste Artisan Festival and 1 Mural. At the end, we chose as the most relevant environmental issues for our communities: Education, Water security and Health.
We ended the week by celebrating all together the birthday of one of the national volunteers.
Blog by Sonia Marisol López Pérez Progressio ICS National Volunteer and translated from Spanish by Progressio ICS El Salvador staff