COAR has long had, as part of its mission, to educate the world about the Salvadoran Civil War and the needs of the Poor in El Salvador. To that end, COAR focuses on BUILDING SOLIDARITY between our donors / supporters and the entire COAR community in El Salvador.
Several times a year, we take mission trips from the United States to COAR. Parishes and college kids spend a week teaching English in the high school, playing with the kids and visiting the major historical/social sites in the country. Unlike other programs, we dont build houses with our mission trips. Rather, we build solidarity. We never want to take a job away from a Salvadoran who could do that same job. Instead, we want to maximize the skills of our mission participants in serving the greatest need at COAR. For us, this means teaching English in the school and playing with the kids – one on one – whenever possible.
But, occassionally, COAR is so very lucky to have long term volunteers. For the past year, the entire COAR family was blessed with the friendship, service and quite frankly – love – of 2 wonderful visitors from Europe. There were actually four long term visitors who came to Zaragoza with the goal of serving those in need. Two of the volunteers worked in the school (donated their services). The other two volunteers worked with our COAR kids directly in the residential community.
Irene and Bianca were truly generous with their time, love and skills. For over a year, they tutored our COAR internos in math, reading, writing and English. Many of our children came from such poverty that there was no value placed on education by the adults. Young kids were expected to help find firewood for the stoves (so that they could eat), clean the house and care for siblings or literally work to bring money back to the family. By the time that they reach our facility, they may be years behind their peers academically.
Irene and Bianca’s one on one tutoring service to our kids was truly remarkable. Beyond their academic assistance, Irene and Bianca were friends to the children. They became part of the community and part of our family. COAR gave them a “Despedida” or going-away party before they left this spring. We wish them well and pray that they had a safe trip home. If you are interested in bringing a mission trip to COAR to teach English in our high school and play with the kids, please do not hesitate to contact us via email or phone.