Kind of New! Programs Director Susan Barnish

Susan joined COAR in January 2020 and we’ve been meaning to officially introduce her ever since. For some reason (perhaps a global pandemic?), we didn’t quite get to it when she first came. But our inside story, about COAR’s transitional program, had us thinking about transition in other areas, so we decided this was a good time!
Hola! My connection to El Salvador started in grad school, where I was studying Spanish translation: my parish had a sister parish in the town of Agua Caliente. I was lucky to be able to visit in 2014, on what I thought was going to be a “feel-good vacation” but ended up being a life-changing experience. I decided to do a year of service after that visit, and actually ended up staying for four years. It wasn’t until I moved home that I learned of COAR, while searching for a “real job”. I started helping in the office, visited COAR for the first time with the Open House in 2019, and the rest is history!