If you have never been to Central America, you need to go. Take out your bucket list and put a trip to Central America on it right now. (I’ll wait. Go ahead… Ok? Good.)
In the middle of my short-term mission trip to the United States I took a quick short-term mission trip to El Salvador. Free The Girls is partnering with a local safe house in El Salvador to bring our job creation program to the sex trafficking survivors of that country.
I was hosted by our friends and partners in the project, Jon and Danielle Snyder. They, along with their two amazing kids, were great hosts and tour guides. I was able to spend some time at their center for homeless ministry. I also got to visit some officials in the Salvadorian government and two of the women in our pilot program.
I have a favorite question to ask women who are new in the program. “If you end up selling a lot of bras and making a lot of money, what are you going to do with the money?” Everyone always says something like “Buy a house.” “Buy land.” “Fix up my house.” But it the answer after that which is always my favorite. One of the ladies I spoke with in El Salvador told me quite simply. “I will buy bikes for my children.”
How cool is that? What a perfectly normal thing for a mother to do for her kids. To buy them a couple of bikes. I have no doubt she will buy them a couple of bikes one day through money she earns in the program. When she does, I’ll snap a picture for you.
***Excursus*** (Some quick thoughts on Spanish and Portuguese)
The national language in Mozambique, where I live, is Portuguese. The national language in El Salvador is Spanish. They are very similar languages. However, their similarity seems to only work in one direction. In other words, I could understand almost everything that was said in my presence during my visit. However, I couldn’t say anything. I embarrassed myself seemingly hundreds of times in just a couple of days trying to speak Spanish. It was awesome. If you haven’t embarrassed yourself trying to speak another language recently, you should get on it. It’s worth the fun.