BENEFITING: AID EL SALVADOR
EVENT DATE: Dec 18, 2012
I want, with all of my heart, to bring Fidel & Saul to New York City for Christmas.
Not only do I want that, for my personal gratification of sharing my hometown with two young men who, along with their families, gave me everything for 2 years in El Salvador, but I need to bring them here.
Seeing New York City will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Fidel & Saul and I am certain that it will change their future.
They are the two young men in their community that have the potential to grow it. Sometimes, all we need is a little inspiration...
Fidel & Saul are two young men whom I met during my Peace Corps service in El Salvador in 2010.
USAID was offering a merit-based scholarship to youth-in-need for the opportunity to study for 2 years at North Central Technical College in Wisconsin.
No one from my Salvadoran community had ever studied in the states. Fidel & Saul had never traveled further than 2 hours (to go to the country capital) by bus. Fidel did not have electricity in his home, Saul was helping take care of his special-needs sister, with no help from doctors and/or the government, neither could speak English, both spent days off working in the fields, and neither expected to continue their education past high school.
Out of more than 300 applicants and only 24 winners, Fidel & Saul were among the recipients of this coveted scholarship.
In June, they are required to move back to El Salvador, to implement what they have learned in the US in their at-risk community at home.
This is not a Christmas trip- this is an investment in their future.
When I speak of El Salvador and my Peace Corps experience, the families who fed me and the waterfalls that bathed me, I wear a smile that creases my cheeks and wrinkles my eyes. That will never leave me.
When I asked Fidel & Saul if they would like to come to NY, Fidel said "yyyyeeeesssssssssssss!!!" and Saul said "oh, Jaime, that is my dream."
Help me give them the smile that they gave me.
Read my blog to learn more about:
- Saul's quest to become a photographer after learning to snap photos on his flip phone and being inspired to give his community what he lacks- a photograph of him as a child.
- Fidel's journey as a musician, playing guitar for his local church and his hopes to now play in NYC
- My conversation with their school guidance counselor, and how she said they are top students in their class
- Saul's experience overcoming the loss of his special needs sister (and not being able to be there)