Saturday, July 29, 2017

Day 2 - Breaking Barriers

By Elinor Steffy
Today we took a hike and played basketball. Now, I realize that is an extremely mundane opening sentence, so I will elaborate. We got to sleep in a bit since we were all tired from our flights yesterday, then we took an exciting truck ride to Cincera. We loved feeling the breeze as we zoomed down the road!

Upon arrival, we went on a gorgeous hike in Cincera through the forest while learning about the El Salvadoran Civil War. 

Our guide Rafael shared stories about the war and about the huge effect it had on his childhood, youth, and whole life. He began working at the age of 12 as a campesino (farmer) for a hacienda that treated and paid it's workers extremely poorly. To aid the growing forces to fight the injustices against the common people, he joined the FMLN, the revolutionary forces, at only 15 years old.

The hike was a little over two miles, and youth from El Bario, the community where we will do our homestays, came with us. Despite the language barrier we could all understand one thing: we were very hot! We hiked up to a gorgeous lookout tower, climbed up the rickety stairs (one was covered in vomit) and enjoyed a breathtaking view of Lake Suchitlan. After the hike we descended back into the valley and cooled off in a nearby waterfall. It was so refreshing!!

Later in the day we went to the basketball court and played with some of the locals. Even though I was very rusty, having not played in two years, we all had fun! The beauty of basketball (and other sports - soccer is the most popular here) is that it can bring people together in a way that not much else can. You don't have to speak the same language, believe in the same god, or agree on politics, you can just love playing basketball and understand the word "foul".

No comments:

Post a Comment