The Lone Oak High School team landed safely in El Salvador around lunch time today and hit the ground running! They first visited CIPI, a government orphanage housing children of all ages, as well as teen girls.
Below you will find a very sweet and very honest account from one of the students who is visiting El Salvador for the first time...
"The kids ranged from newborn babies to teen mothers, to special needs. We walked around the orphanage to meet everyone, which was a little awkward and scary at first, but once you met the kids, they stole your heart. After that, we were allowed to go play with any if the kids we wanted. Alex, Mr. Sims, Anibel, and myself all went to the young boys room. There were four boys in the room. The room had bars on the windows and bars on the door. The boys were so excited to see us. Their names were Jefferson, Jesus, Christopher, and Jose. They were all under the age of 6 and as happy as could be. The boys loved to take pictures and play soccer. Although we couldn't communicate with them all that well, our translator, Anibel, helped out so much. Jefferson hugged me as soon as I walked into his room and seemed to like me a lot, so I played with him most of the time. We ran around, played soccer, climbed the fences, I carried him around, and helped him eat. It was incredible! It broke my heart when we had to leave. Jefferson started crying and wouldn't let me go, I wanted to cry. On the bright side, we do get to go see the kids of Cipi again on Sunday, and I can't wait." ~ Ashley Latham
This evening, after getting settled in at the mission house, the team prepared meals for the homeless. They packed bags with sandwiches, chips, fruit and BBQ on the River T-Shirts! Most importantly, throughout the week, team members will be visiting homeless across San Salvador, sharing more than food and clothing but also letting them know that they are not forgotten!
Tomorrow the group will be visiting CISNA, an orphanage for boys ages 7-17. The team will be getting the taking the boys out of the orphanage for the day and instead, taking them to the beach! Hopefully by tomorrow we will have some of our technichal difficulties worked out and will have more pictures and notes availible for you! The group sounded so excited tonight ... ready to see what tomorrow brings!
At Starfish we are often asked questions such as "Isn't it hard to go and visit the children, and then have to leave?" or "What is it really like to visit an orphanage?" We hope that through these posts and first hand accounts from students who are so willing to share their experiences, you too can have a glimpse into the very different lives of children living without families to care for them. Thank you for following along on their journey and please feel free to encourage them by posting on the blog or Facebook!