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El Salvador Reflection Dinner


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Sarah Ovard ’20 (psychology), Shaina Gaba ’20 (nursing), Serena Reeves ’20 (liberal studies, music), Hannah Burton ’21 (nursing), and Allison Kustic ’21 (political science) will give their reflections of their Campus Ministry Immersion Trip to El Salvador on Friday, April 13, at an El Salvador Dinner in Creekside Room from 6:30-8 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for faculty, staff, and guests.

To purchase tickets and RSVP for the dinner, please contact Lianni Castro ‘04, assistant director of Campus Ministry, at lianni.castro@dominican.edu or student participants Serena Reeves, Shaina Gaba, Hannah Burton, Sarah Ovard, or Allison Kustic.

Three years ago Lianni volunteered to have her hair shaved to lead a “Bald for a Change” women’s rights fundraiser to benefit in part CoMadres, an organization that aids families who have been displaced by civil war in El Salvador.

In January Lianni – along with five Dominican students joining her on a Campus Ministry Immersion Trip to El Salvador – learned how her donation from the fundraiser was spent. Blanca Garcia, whose mother is one of the co-founders of CoMadres, informed Lianni that the lives of three Salvadoan families were greatly enhanced by the contribution.

“I hadn't seen her since she received the donation and she let me know that with the money raised they were able to improve the homes of three women - building them new roofs that provide stability and shelter,” Lianni says.

“They were able to buy products for one of the mothers who owns a store and with that she has been able to elevate her business and provide for her family. They provided food baskets to members of CoMadres, who otherwise have trouble providing food for themselves and their families. They also have been able to get counseling services to help all of the members who have ongoing PTSD and trauma from the war and war crimes that were committed on them. It was hugely humbling to hear what our contributions were able to do for these incredible women.”

It was a highlight of an eight-day cultural experience, in partnership with CRISPAZ, Christians for Peace in El Salvador. The Dominican students were welcomed into the homes of people in the rural community of Papaturro and spent time with youth leaders. They heard inspiring stories of how Papaturro, originally a refugee camp, has evolved into a community that has grown from 25 families to more than 125 families.