Every little helps! “Update: A Change of Mission — Milford Street”

A couple of years back, in 2016, my friend Chris from over at Milford Street spend time in El Salvador working as a volunteer teacher, and sharing his impressions on his blog.

Now he wrote an article about the devastating effects the Corona crisis has on the people living in El Salvador. 

You can either read it here, on his own blog here:

 Update: A Change of Mission — Milford Street

 

If you feel like sharing, please do, as every little helps.

 

This was the time of my life.

 

That’s me in the image above.  It was taken in 2016 when I spent the summer teaching English as a volunteer at a public school for girls in El Salvador.  (More information on my time there can be found here.)  The program, Teaching You, has two components.  I participated in the part that places volunteer teachers in a school for grades one through eight.  It was the time of my life.  The other part identifies students with the academic ability and character to succeed beyond eighth-grade graduation.  It provides them with a summer school program and also awards scholarships so students can attend high school (aka secondary school).

 

Teaching in Santa Tecla, El Salvador

 

In March, the President of El Salvador issued a strict stay at home order closing schools and most businesses to limit the effect of COVID-19 on the country.   Joaquin, the director of the program, got the last volunteers on a flight back to their country hours before the international airport in El Salvador closed.  With schools closed, Joaquin wondered what his mission would be.  It didn’t take long for him to find out.

Through the confinement, Joaquin has maintained contact with the students who normally attend his summer school or to whom he awards scholarships.  The parents of many of them lost their jobs when the stores and market stalls closed.  Some families were forced to move from their apartments into single room flats.  Obtaining basic food and medicine became an issue for them.  To make matters words, a storm this past week brought flooding rains that filled the streets.

 

Flooding in the streets of Santa Tecla, El Salvador

 

The mission of Teaching You has turned from education to providing humanitarian relief to these families.  Joaquin has been visiting these families on a regular basis to bring them the necessities: pasta, rice beans, sugar, salt, milk, eggs, medicine, etc.  He’s also helped with rent payment when a few families were in danger of losing their room.  It has come at a personal cost to him.  Normally, he and his wife live with Joaquin’s extended family, but Joaquin is nervous about passing Coronavirus to his parents.  He is out in the community frequently, so this is a real concern.  As a result, he’s moved out of the house to another location.

 

Bags of food ready for distribution to families.

 

Like all of us, he hopes that this is temporary and that things will someday return to normal.  But he wonders when anyone will be willing to come as a volunteer to El Salvador again.

If this story and these photos have touched you, I have a request.

I know that all of you are receiving requests from many different charities.

I know that all of you have needs in your own communities.

I know some of you have your own economic struggles right now.

However, if you can find it in your heart to give even a small portion of your usual charitable donations to Teaching You, you know it will directly help these families.  If you are willing, please click here

If you can’t donate, please consider sharing this blog post on your favorite social media.

Thank you for reading.

Photo credits to Joaquin Batres.

25 thoughts on “Every little helps! “Update: A Change of Mission — Milford Street”

  1. Both these men, Chris and Joaquin, are heroes. The children at this school are the future of their families and their country. It amazes me how much can be accomplished with little equipment but so much heart. I hope all the girls and their families stay healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is heartbreaking to read. The saying that what happens to one of us affects all of us is so very true. It also seems that those that are barely hanging on always get hit the hardest by everything. It’s in every country the same way because we are not taking care of the least of us properly. Many of us are just a check away from that same position and being hit with weather and a pandemic seems very unkind of Mother Nature. I think it’s wonderful that someone is there doing their best to help. It will never be the government doing the helping. It’s always the people themselves. Thank you to Joaquin for doing the hard work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I couldn’t agree more, Marlene. It’s always the poorest of the poor that have to suffer more than the rest. What’s currently happening in South America, India and Africa is so heartbreaking – and what do people here in the Western Hemisphere? Planning their vacation trip! It’s true, our news are full with reports where to go to this holiday season – not a word about maybe trying to help other people who have been affected by this crisis so severely. Which makes it even more special that there are people like Joaquin and Chris, who give their best and just help. They’re a role model to us all.
      Hope all is well with you and yours! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

      • No vacations here. We are staying in full lockdown for now. There is a lot of stupid out there. Thank goodness my daughter works from home for now. Grateful she still has a job. If I weren’t just managing to keep my head above water, I would help monetarily. Since I can’t do that, I do what I can where I can. We are doing quite well all things considered. 😉 Hugs to you as well.

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  3. Thank you so much for posting, Sarah. Joaquin has a system for these families to signal him when they need food and yet maintain social distancing. They are to put out a white flag to signal when they need more food. As he makes his rounds, he takes note of the white flags.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s a very good system Joaquin came up with! Let’s hope that that the situation will somewhat relax in the near future and that he can be with his parents again.

      Liked by 2 people

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