Watercolor original by: Marie Spaeder Haas

December 2022 – Executive Director’s Reflections & News from El Salvador

“Treated No Better than a Rag”

In our regular meetings at COAR we learn the heart-breaking details about how the newest children and teens have come to be at COAR. They are minors so we shield their privacy as well as, literally, keep them safe from their past. At our most recent, mid-November meeting, our director, Marta, said of one of the new girls, “in her entire life she was treated no better than a rag.” We can’t point her out in this public forum, of course. But until I started putting together the names with the faces, I couldn’t figure out who she was. She was already laughing and joining-in. There are the nightmares and setbacks, of course. But there is healing. Her Christmas morning will be full of love and safety and her New Year full of hope. Thanks to you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

News from El Salvador

We visited the COAR children just last week and rushed this newsletter to press. How long will that phrase be relevant? Well, so far delivery of paper newsletters hasn’t changed. There are always changes at COAR with new children arriving and graduates moving on and new technology, of course. However, we were overwhelmed with the new infrastructure in El Salvador, just in the past few months. The airport has a new second story with very sleek gates and immigration desks. The new roads are amazing, ribbons of concrete all around and through the capitol. The central square is getting a rebuilt National Archive courtesy of Chinese investments. Loans appear to be funding most of this building. Good infrastructure is always good for economic growth. Loans, on the other hand, can weigh and economy down if they cannot be repaid. Time will tell whether this investment will pay off. Meanwhile, the COAR children will bring their own vibrancy to the economy.