Last Saturday afternoon I flew into El Salvador not knowing what to expect. I had heard so many different things from my friends and family that I decided to just throw all my expectations away and “ride the wave.” Although El Salvador has been through many challenges and triumphs over the past 20 years, the people are amazingly hospitable and the landscape is breath-taking. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to experience such a wonderful place and learn so much about such a unique country.

Now it is Tuesday afternoon, our second day on the Habitat Site, and it has once again been a day full of inspiration and opportunities to learn. In the morning, we spoke with a few women who run a worker’s cooperative in the small community where we are building homes. The co-op focuses on three main initiatives (painting, sewing, and jewelry) and helps other community members start small business through micro loans. Babson College has come down twice a year to talk about these initiatives and also teach entrepreneurship.

Today we focused on creating a business plan for the co-op in order to help the members start new initiatives and recruit more members. Unfortunately, none of us Babson Students speak fluent Spanish, so we had an amazing woman Cathy translate for us. She did such an amazing job even with some of those challenging accounting terms! Thanks Cathy! Although we taught for four hours straight, the women asked amazing questions and took such neat notes. I know I have trouble paying attention in just a 90 minutes class never mind 4 hours. These women have come so far and are so motivated to learn and better their community. Today I was truly inspired by these women and their willingness to listen.

 

– Christina