The November 2012 delegation was made up of three enthusiastic travelers, one of our smallest delegations. Several people needed to drop out due to work conflicts or health challenges. Since ours was a daytime flight, we stayed at the Hotel Oasis the first night.

After breakfast we traveled to Suchitoto, the municipality that includes the villages of the ciudadela Guillermo Ungo. We stayed at the Centro Arte para la Paz, a fascinating focus of art education and promotion run by the always thought-provoking Sister Peggy. Rather than a formal talk we were able to have a good discussion over dinner the first evening.

The next day we were treated to lunch with her honor Pedrina Rivera, the mayor of Suchitoto. Pedrina lives in Los Henriquez, one of the villages of the ciudadela and is someone we’ve known for a number of years.

Because of our small number, we “down-sized” the craft project(s) for this trip. We did the crafts at two of the homes of our lunch hosts rather than hold one or two large sessions. This worked out  well.

The highlight of this delegation was the annual Graduacíon (Graduation) ceremony. In particular, Walter Henriquez, who is Kent and Christine Madsen’s prayer child, was graduated from Bachillerato (High School). It was one of Kent’s proudest moments to be one of the “dignitaries” handing diplomas to the graduates. In the featured photo for this article, Kent is shown with Pedrina Rivera, mayor of Suchitoto on his right and Don Fito on his left. Don Fito is the founding superintendent of the Guillermo Ungo school and a patriarch of the community.

Guillermo Ungo celebrates graduation for Kindergarten, ninth grade and high school students. There were a lot of graduates! They were all dressed in their finest and looked so happy.  What a great day!

All good things must end, so we packed up, said our good-byes and made our way to San Salvador for our final night’s stay at Hotel Oasis. On the way into the city, we stopped at Fe y Esperanza, site of a refugee camp during the civil war, run by the Lutheran Church of El Salvador. Today, it is no longer a refugee camp, but hosts a series of small shops making various products. It is also somewhat of an agricultural laboratory with test plots of various organic crops. The pastor of the church there is Abelina Gomez, wife of Bishop Medardo Gomez.