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.
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.
- View Roxana Maribel’s painting, which won first place in a CFCA contest to commemorate its 25th anniversary in El Salvador.
- Read the story of a former sponsored child from El Salvador, who is now 28 and has a family of his own.
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.