People Hope and ACOMUJERZA are the newest Sister Parish relationship. We recently talked to two members of ACOMUJERZA about the first visit.
My name is Ana Morales and I have been with ACOMUJERZA for 10 years and I have lived in Zaragoza for 12 years. I am a member of the Board of ACOMUJERZA and I am also a member of the Sister Parish Committee.
My name is Maria Julia and I have lived in Zaragoza my whole life and I am a founding member of ACOMUJERZA.
Last year they told us that we had been chosen to partner with People of Hope. When Julieta told us I was so happy. I told all the members of the cooperative and we were all excited.
Last year we participated in our first event with Sister Parish – the Solidarity Walk. 13 people from Zaragoza went to Los Ranchos. It was a wonderful experience. It was so exciting to see the community organizing there and everything the communities have done.
We later formed our Sister Parish committee with 7 people (6 women and one man, 5 cooperative members and 2 members of the community) and we will be the link between People of Hope, Sister Parish and ACOMUJERZA.
The first delegation from People of Hope visited us this year. We started meeting last year to organize for the visit, so there was no problem.
The delegation was here for 9 days full of different activities. They spent time with the cooperative and visited different places in the community, like the health clinic, the school where most of the cooperative members’ children go, and the local radio station. We also played sports with the students at the school. We taught the delegates embroidery – they had to plan what they would sew and then make it, so they got to learn more about our lives that way. We also organized a good-bye party on April 7.
The experience of the delegation was so interesting. We got to spend time with such wonderful people. Since they moment they arrived at the airport, before we even knew each other, we were so excited. For their first experience in El Salvador, we took them to eat pupusas. That’s always the first thing foreigners want to do. Then we went to the guest house and for dinner we ate a traditional Salvadoran meal together: tamales and beans. It made us happy to share a meal together.
On Sunday April 3, we had another wonderful experience with the group. We went to Cuscatlán Park where there is a mural dedicated to the people who died in El Salvador from 1977 on. There are so many names on that wall. You can witness, really see, how many people died. I am still very moved by the mural. It brings back so many memories. I know we are living in a different era now, but I remember our martyrs. They helped us defend our country.
We also took the group to the Cathedral where our highest spiritual leader, our pastor Romero, is buried. We prayed there for a long time. I was so moved. It brings back so many sad memories for us, but it also gives us hope.
That Sunday in the afternoon, we went to mass and participated in a procession to a local monument to Romero. The people from People of Hope were always with us. It was an emotional experience.
We have had many experiences with delegations, but none like this delegation from People of Hope. We felt closer to them, like we had already known each other for years.