So only two more sleeps until I am in Canada! I am counting really only one more sleep because tomorrow I leave Guacotecti and the ADES office to go back to San Salvador. In my mind that is when the trip home begins. I'll spend the night with Jonathan in San Salvador house as Jenny will still be in Guacotecti. Then Friday morning Oscar (from ADES) will pick me up to take me to the airport. My thoughts are focused a lot on seeing friends and family, speaking English and eating familiar food. I am looking forward to being in a place where I understand the culture and the language. I am excited...
But...interesting and disheartening situations keep coming into my life.
This morning I was at meeting where I learned that in the community where "the girls" live (the two cuties that my boss is working hard to get medical care arranged for them) has a big problem. Not only is their not water in people's homes, there is not enough water with on the ground or underground for this community. People from ADES are working to try and solve this problem. The ultimate obstacle, is that all of the land that the village is on is privately owned. While I did not understand the reason, it is clear that the land owner will not permit the installation of the equipment that would collection and distribute of water. It is unbelievable to me that water can be denied to a village because the land owner refuses the installation of the equipment. I don't even think she is being asked to pay anything!
This afternoon I am travelling to another very small village. This too is all on privately owned land. In this area the biggest problem is with the school. Currently the Ministry of Education pays for the teacher and basic supplies, but there is not a proper building. The school is in an old adobe house, which is very inadequate. There are also 6 grades with the one teacher. Apparently the way it works here is the Ministry of Education will pay for a building but will not buy land. In this case the landowner is willing to sell land for the school for about $3000. In this very poor community this is an unfathomable amount of money. Soto (one of my housemates and the head of the water and anti-mining team) has agreed to write a letter to invite people from the Ministry of Education to meet with people from the community to discuss the situation. Today the community will be reviewing and signing the letter.
Given these realities, it is not surprising that people here do not view Capitalism and the free market as the way to improve their lives.
Finally, I learned yesterday that the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has invited the Attorney General of El Salvador to participate in a Panel Discussion on Crime and Impunity in Central America. This is the man who refuses to order an investigation into the threats and deaths of the anti-mining activists here. As a result whoever is arranging and paying for these crimes has complete impunity from the law. I understand that protests are being planned both here in El Salvador and in Canada.
So while I am getting excited to see you all, the situations here continue to weigh on my mind.
I will be taking a break from Blogging during my vacation, but will catch up with everyone when I return to El Salvador. My next blog will be Wednesday August 24th. Thanks everyone for your support and thanks for reading.