Tag: El Salvador

Feb 20 2012

Single mom in El Salvador finds hope through CFCA

Isabel, mother of CFCA sponsored children in El Salvador, picking coffee beans

Isabel picks coffee beans in El Salvador. She is the mother of four children, two of whom are sponsored through CFCA.

The coffee harvest is well under way around the world. Most countries harvest coffee from December to March, and it is a major source of income for many families living in poverty.

Here is an interview with Isabel, a single mother of four daughters in Ataco, El Salvador. She did not continue school beyond first grade, and coffee picking is her only livelihood to support her family.

Two of her children, Dayra and Fatima, are sponsored through CFCA. Isabel belongs to a CFCA mothers group, which has boosted her self-confidence.

Tell us about yourself.

I am the single mother of four children. I feel happy, because I have this huge benefit of sponsorship for my children. I am alone. I cannot hope for more help besides that from the project.

Thanks to Sister Guadalupe, my daughter entered the program in 2004, when she was very small.

At that time, I was experiencing a crisis in that I could not find work. There was no work at the plantation.

I earned $45 every 15 days. And one worries about buying food first. But the sponsorship benefits my daughter receives are great. They even clean her teeth.

Thanks to the generous heart of her sponsors, we can improve our lives. What’s most important is the struggle and the hope we have in the project.

No matter what I need for my daughter, whether a new set of clothes or a new pair of shoes, I tell her, “Daughter, here is what your sponsors and the project do for you.”

I live with my mother, my four daughters and my sister.

When my father died, it was traumatic. My sister was 10. My father was killed. We were left in shambles. We were living in different houses. We did not have a dignified house. Read more of Isabel’s story

Feb 6 2012

Celebrating quinceañera with CFCA

The quinceañera, or 15th birthday, in Latin America is the day when a girl celebrates the transition from child to young woman.

Celebrating the quinceañera traditionally involves many components, including a Mass or religious ceremony, a reception and a choreographed dance, usually a waltz.

For many 15-year-olds living in poverty, however, celebrating a quinceaÒera is an unattainable dream. The celebration, including the dress, cake, music and food, can cost much more than families can afford.

Sponsorship can help make this dream, like so many others, become a reality.

CFCA recently invited 18 sponsored girls in El Salvador to celebrate their quinceañeras. Each girl received a beautiful, blue dress, and CFCA made arrangements for the Mass and reception afterward.

Many thanks to our talented team in Santa Ana, El Salvador, for putting this video together!

Jan 30 2012

Sponsored children get school supplies in Central America

The school year for Central American countries starts in January or February, and parents have been shopping the last few weeks for school supplies.

CFCA sponsored child Mauricio in El Salvador with school supplies

Mauricio, 6, is a CFCA sponsored child in El Salvador. Here he displays his school supplies purchased through sponsorship benefits.

For families living in poverty, however, school supplies can cost more than the families are able to afford. Usually the cost ranges between $50 to $60.

Families in the CFCA sponsorship program sometimes earn as little as $100 a month or less. That means buying school supplies would consume around half of their monthly income.

Here are two CFCA sponsored children in El Salvador, who obtained school supplies this year through sponsorship benefits.

Mauricio (interview with his grandmother, Antonia)

Mauricio lives with his mother, his two sisters and grandmother. His mother works as a security guard and is paid $180 a month. His grandmother sells vegetables and fruit and makes approximately $60 per month.

What does it means to your household budget for CFCA to provide these school supplies? Read more

Jan 2 2012

Pictures of Las Posadas in El Salvador

CFCA: Las posadas in El SalvadorLas Posadas is a Christmas tradition celebrated throughout Latin America commemorating the arduous journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem.

It takes place nine days, from Dec. 16 to Dec. 24.

CFCA’s project in Santa Ana held this year’s posada celebration for sponsored friends and their families at its new center, which was inaugurated in early December. Read more about the center here. Read more

Dec 26 2011

Opening up to sponsorship: One sponsor’s story

CFCA sponsors Ed and Becci Bartolomeo have sponsored Marisela in El Salvador for 14 years.

Their sponsorship started out like most. They sponsored Marisela after a CFCA preacher visited their parish.

“Things weren’t financially great at that time,” Ed Bartolomeo said. “It was tough paying our bills. We were getting by. But we thought if we don’t go to dinner once a month, we could easily support this little girl.”

They sent their monthly contribution, wrote occasionally and sometimes sent small gifts to Marisela.

Their sponsorship experience was transformed, however, when they met Marisela and her family in 2011 on their first CFCA mission awareness trip.

Read all about it on our website: Sponsors meet friend after 14 years of sponsorship

Nov 15 2011

‘There is always someone who encourages you to go on … ‘

Marta, now 25, was a former CFCA scholar. She depended heavily on her mother’s income to get her through college, but her mother suffered an accident that forced her to stop working. Read on to find out how it all ended!

Marta, sponsored through CFCA in El Salvador


How did you get involved with CFCA?

I met CFCA about eight years ago when I became part of its scholarship program in Santa Ana, El Salvador.

I was a high school freshman and my mother could not fully afford my education.

She used to work selling fried finger food in the streets. My younger brother was in school, too, and unfortunately, we never met our father.

How did CFCA support you?

As part of my responsibilities in CFCA, I did monthly community service. I offered my service at the CFCA headquarters in Santa Ana, El Salvador.

I started meeting people who treated me professionally and with respect. Many things changed inside me, spiritually and intellectually. I felt motivated to dream about my future.

At the same time it helped me cover part of my educational expenses such as transportation, tuition, etc., and my mother would help me with anything else I needed.

You graduated from high school. Did you go to university? Read her answer

Nov 2 2011

CFCA staff member celebrates Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

By Henry Flores, director of the communications center in El Salvador

Henry and mother, Maria Teresa, at cemetery during Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Henry's mother, Maria Teresa, and Henry at the cemetery during DÌa de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Latin America is a land full of beauty, hard-working people and a great diversity of customs and traditions.

One of those traditions is the celebration of El DÌa de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

This has nothing to do with cults to the dead, but a day to remember family and friends and the moments we spent together while they were alive.

Cemeteries are usually lonely and cold places; however, this day they become alive and cheerful.

Families get together to visit them, bringing colorful ornaments and flowers to place on the graves of their relatives and loved ones.

Besides the beauty of people praying, singing and placing flowers, this celebration generates good business not only for those who make ornaments or sell flowers, but also for men and women who clean graves with water and detergent, paint them with nice colors and retouch the names of the deceased carved in wood or cement crosses. Read more

Oct 21 2011

Update about heavy rains in El Salvador

By Henry Flores, CFCA communications liaison in El Salvador

CFCA sponsors visit community Manuel in El Salvador after heavy rains

CFCA sponsors visit community Manuel in El Salvador after heavy rains.

After seven days of intense rain all throughout El Salvador, we finally saw the sun Tuesday, Oct. 18.

It brought hope, smiles and lots of birds flying in the blue sky. However, today (Oct. 19) we woke up with a much more intense rain that has led to blocked roads, flooded rivers and major mudslides in cities, towns and roads.

It is a sign of hope for us to face this emergency with the presence of nine sponsors who are participating in a CFCA mission awareness trip in El Salvador.

In spite of this emergency, they have been extremely open to the inconveniences of visiting our communities under heavy rain, extremely muddy conditions and difficult walking access.

During our visits, we have witnessed the reality of those living in fragile economic and housing conditions. It is an eye-opening experience that makes us all appreciate the comfort and safety of our homes, but is a dramatic call to do something for those less fortunate. Read more

Sep 22 2011

Pupusas or stuffed tortillas from El Salvador (recipe)

Pupusas, or stuffed corn tortillas, from El Salvador

Pupusas, or stuffed corn tortillas, from El Salvador … mmm!

CFCA serves more than 12,000 sponsored children and elderly in El Salvador. Our staff members there sent us this tasty recipe for pupusas, or stuffed tortillas!

This is the most traditional food in El Salvador. It is very popular, probably for its flavor and low cost. The stuffing ingredients will vary according to the type of pupusa made. The dough can be made of corn or rice.

This recipe makes about 20 pupusas. See the full recipe

Sep 12 2011

How CFCA projects worldwide celebrate Christmas, part 1

Even though it’s only September, it’s never too early to start thinking about sending your sponsored friend a Christmas card! Because mail can be slow, we recommend scheduling six to eight weeks for a letter to arrive at your friend’s project.

We interviewed several CFCA projects around the world about last year’s Christmas celebrations for sponsored friends and their families. Here are the answers from three projects: Merida, Mexico; Santa Ana, El Salvador; and Bogota, Colombia.

Sponsored children select their own gifts in a CFCA Christmas celebration in Bogota, Colombia

Sponsored friends buy their own gifts during CFCA Christmas celebrations in Bogota, Colombia.

How do you select the types of gifts for sponsored children?

Merida: When Christmas approaches, one thinks about cold days coming. Those lucky enough to live close to family take this time to meet, and those who are not as close spend time with friends. The point is to spend time with those around us.

But while this season fills us with smiles, snow, warm clothing and abundant food, Christmas is a moment of reflection. Christmas is the date when Jesus Christ was born.

Christmas is a moment of humility that fills our hearts, but not with chocolates, stuffed turkey or Christmas carols. We must open our hearts to peace, love, happiness, contentment, and give back for all the blessings we have received. Read more