Mar 3 2011

Nurturing potential for 25 years in El Salvador

In December 2010, CFCA celebrated its 25th anniversary of service in El Salvador. Henry Flores, director of the communications center in El Salvador and an employee of CFCA there for 16 years, offers this reflection.

I was first introduced to CFCA in 1995 when I was returning from the U.S. where I had lived and studied for seven years.

The CFCA office in Santa Ana, in El Salvador, needed to hire a translator. Though I wasn’t the best translator, I was blessed to be given the opportunity.

Henry Flores

Henry Flores

My first thought about the job was, “This should be a nice way to readjust myself to the country and make some income until I find something better to do.”

The days passed and little by little, I reconnected with my roots and started to learn from the people of my country, those who are hidden in their cardboard, rusted metal sheet and old wood houses, those we call “the poor.”

They taught me that “rich” is not about how much you have, but how little you need. This made a permanent impact on my heart and what started as a temporary job has become a 16-year passion for service.

People living in poverty constantly humble me with their reality and difficult life burdens but unbelievable resilience and faith.

In December 2010, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of CFCA’s service in El Salvador. Twenty-five is an easy number to say but the stories and miracles behind it are endless.

I have witnessed the life transformation of thousands of sponsored members and their families, becoming better trained to build their own path out of poverty with the tools provided by CFCA.

Many of the children sponsored by CFCA in these 25 years are now adults, who have been able to break the circle of poverty, live with stronger family values and understand the importance of education.

“I was sponsored in CFCA for 10 years,” said Juan Carlos, a former sponsored child who is now 28. “My wife Nimia and I are now raising our 2-year-old son. We both want the best for him and are putting into practice the values I learned while sponsored and I can provide for them what I lacked before.”

Breaking the circle of poverty does not mean making people wealthy. It means offering opportunities for personal development so basic needs are covered, active participation in society is possible and human dignity is solid.

“My children are grown. They work and have formed families. My story is complete,” said Reina, mother of three children sponsored by CFCA for more than 12 years. “You never stop being part of CFCA. That will never change.”

Monsignor Oscar Romero, a Catholic priest who was murdered in El Salvador in 1980 while celebrating Mass, once said, “We plant seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.”

Thank you very much for helping us plant seeds of hope in the lives of thousands of sponsored members and their families, who only need one chance to make great things for themselves, their family and country.

If you’ve been on a mission awareness trip to El Salvador, we would love to hear your thoughts about our program there. We appreciate your comments on this or any of our other stories.

7 thoughts on “Nurturing potential for 25 years in El Salvador”

  1. Hi Henry, Thanks for allowing yourself to be “the voice” to many especially to your country and your humble people. My days in walk2gether in the roads of El Salvador, I’ve met a lot of CFCA families and they really are worth to be with CFCA. Just like what you are doing…sharing a lot of inspiration and encouragement through the wonderful stories you always talked about. More blessings to you and to the CFCA’s quest to bring out the best potential of every families that we are working with….

  2. Hi Henry, I had the privilege of meeting you a few years ago while traveling in El Salvador after a CFCA trip in Guatemala. You showed us the realities of the violence, poverty and hopelessness that exists in El Salvador.. and I understood why so many try to escape to the US.
    You are an inspiration for so many young people- a model of hard work and dedication to the betterment of your country. Thank you for your 16 years of service and may God grant you many more!

  3. Loved reading this tonight because we just left a church group meeting where we promoted CFCA. We even had pics of the 1st house that we funded that was in El Salvador after the MAT with you there. That house propelled us into building more some with our own hands and others that we got funded. You are wonderful at your work, Henry. Blessings to you and to CFCA! Sue & Aubrey Billiot

  4. Henry,

    Due to the love, compassion & dedication you have for your people, you have made a difference in so many lives.
    Not just the ‘poor’ in ElSalvador, but those of us who were
    introduced to you and your people. It has changed
    our lives in so many ways; we are blessed & honored to be
    part of the CFCA family, to be part of the lives of our
    sponsored children whom we love & have learned so
    much from. Thank you for expanding our vision. We are
    so proud to know you as a leader and a friend. God Bless.
    Billie & Walter

  5. Dear Henry,
    Congratulations on your years with CFCA. CFCA is blessed to have you on staff. My deepest thanks for all you do for the wonderful people of El Salvador. You continue to be in my prayers. Your photo looks great! Why aren’t you aging? What is your secret? Blessings, Sherry

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