31st Anniversary of Archbishop Romero’s Assassination

A year ago today, UTS students, staff, faculty, and friends were marching with thousands of people from around the world to remember Monsignor Romero and the Christ-like sacrificial love he offered to the suffering Salvadorans. On March 24, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated while giving mass and his life and work are still very much a part of the culture of El Salvador, as well as to those who celebrate liberation theology as vital Christianity and who stand in solidarity with those who suffer injustice.

On Tuesday, March 22, US President Obama and El Salvador President Funes went to the Metropolitan Cathedral in San Salvador where Romero is buried. You can read about and see pictures of the visit here. In the meantime, take a moment to read this brief biography of Romero from USCatholics.org, brows the El Salvador 2010 trip archives, and know it is possible to be Christ-like in word and action.

Viva, Romero!

Chiapas Day 06—Visiting Oventic and the Zapatistas

What We Were Given

by Cathy Pino

Hello, friends! Thanks for joining us as we live and learn in Chiapas during this study trip. We are grateful for your partnership, your comments on our postings, and your presence in our lives. As we get to know each other and our hosts here in San Cristobal and the surrounding communities, we have also gotten to know many of you through stories of family and friends. Thank you for all that you bring to our lives!

We began our day with the expectation that we would gather in the morning for the two hour drive to the village of Magdalenas, with a stop in Oventic on the way. Oventic is the headquarters for the Council of Good Government, the governing body for the autonomous Zapatista communities of Chiapas. In order to visit any of these communities, of which Magdalenas is one, we would have to receive permission from the Council of Good Government. Continue reading

Why Chiapas, Anyway?

I went and had dinner at my grandparents’ home the other night, having called them up to say that it would be nice to see them before I left for Mexico on Monday.

“I just don’t understand why you people feel the need to go flying all over the world looking for people to help,” my grandpa said as he set the table.  “There are plenty of people right here who need help.  You don’t have to go to Mexico for that.”

His point is a valid one. Continue reading

El Salvador Day 07 – A March, Some Pottery, a Nun, and Karaoke

Update: I’ve added photos so take a look!

Today was yet another full day yet I must be brief if I’m to have any energy left for our final day in El Salvador tomorrow. So much has happened here and it’s hard to believe Thursday is our final full day before we pack up and head out early Friday. I’m still having trouble uploading photos. Well, I found a way, but it would be one at a time and it’s simply too late in the night, I’m sorry.You’ll have to remain content with my written ramblings until I find an easier way to reinstate photos in the new posts.

Here’s the scoop, dear reader…

Weighing Our Options

Today was the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Monsignor Oscar Romero. We began the morning by bussing out to the chapel where Romero was shot through the heart and found the entire chapel and plaza completely full. A worship service went on as we shopped, rested, and prepared for a march during the day – a big difference from marching in the cool of the evening as we did on Friday night.

Before we left the guest house, however, we examined our options for the day: march the whole march, join in late, start it and end early, or whatever else was on the table. We chose to start it and see what happens, as Christina felt it was important for us to see the full chapel. It turned out to be the right decision, too, as we had a chance to purchase flags, bandannas, and other memorabilia with Romero’s visage gracing it. Plus, I got the chance to meet a Deputy, a Senator in the National Assembly of El Salvador. A man in a suit was walking around, shaking hands with excited people. I figured hey, this guy’s got to be somebody, so I simply asked him if he spoke English and who he was. He told me, I asked for a photo together, and when I showed it to Cristina, I learned he was Damian Alegria. I now have taken a photo with a Salvadorian senator and a photo of the president from only five feet away.

A March of Solidarity

We let the beginning of the parade go by and joined in, waving our flags and joining in on several of the chants. Many of us were overwhelmed by Continue reading