Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 7, 2010

In El Salvador

   San Salvador en route to Playa Salinitas

   I can’t recall the last time I was on a flight that lasted less than three hours, but that’s all the time it took to make the trip from Houston to El Salvador. Same time zone – no jet lag! We encountered some turbulence as we descended below the clouds and then bounced onto the tarmac at Cuscatlan International Airport, located just south of San Salvador. Founded in 1525, San Salvador is a sprawling city of low-rise buildings surrounded by volcanoes and hills. The city is Central America’s second most populated city behind Guatemala City. This centuries-old city is no stranger to turbulence. It has been shaken by countless earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, political unrest, and civil strife. Yet every time, it shakes off the dust, rebuilds itself, and marches on.

   The sludge of El Salvador’s heat and humidity assaulted us as we disembarked and made our way into the terminal building. This is Central America. The passport officer was extremely nice and conversed with me in Spanish. He told me that he was delighted that I had come to visit his beautiful country and wished me a pleasant stay. Encouraged by his welcome, I officially walked into El Salvador. I am delighted to be here to serve alongside the Living Water International team made up of four Houstonians, three young men from St. Louis, and one young man from New Jersey. We are here because we believe in the vision of Living Water to change the world by providing clean drinking water and the living water that is found only in Jesus Christ.

   A young man named Carlos Molina picked us up at the airport to escort us to our lodgings located a little less than two hours away. Carlos is the country director of Agua Viva El Salvador and has hosted many volunteers who come here to drill wells in impoverished areas. With our luggage securely tied to the top of the van, we traveled along Highway 8 toward Sonsonate, then turned onto Highway 12 toward Acajutla, and then arrived at Playa Salinitas on the Pacific Coast. I do mean on the Pacific Coast. I am seated less than one-hundred yards from the Pacific Ocean as I write — cooled by a gentle ocean breeze as the sun begins its descent toward the distant horizon.

   Tomorrow we will venture to an impoverished community to drill a well, a process that will take several days. I am grateful to the people of Kingsland for underwriting the cost of the well and to the great team of folks who have come here to make it happen. Good things like drilling wells don’t happen by accident. They happen because of the compassionate vision and intentional action on the part of organizations like Living Water International. At the end of this week a few more people in El Salvador will have access to clean and safe drinking water – a beautiful and practical expression of God’s love. And, at the end of this week, those of us who came here to get our hands dirty will leave for home – tired but grateful for the privilege of having served the people of El Salvador.


  1. Dick and I have been following your posts on this trip closely. He has already signed up for the El Salvador trip in the Fall and is excited to be learning more of what those trips entail.

    God bless you all.

    Dick and Marcia Frith

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