Delegation Spotlight: Ruby
April 20, 2017
Our blog series, Delegate Spotlight, feature past participants from SHARE’s major delegations. A delegate is someone who travels with a group (delegation) to El Salvador to learn about the history, politics, and people to better accompany the Salvadoran people. Interested in becoming a SHARE delegate? Check out our major delegation page for information on the upcoming Women Leaders Across Borders trip in May/June 2017!
At my school, there are a few different trip offerings besides the trip to El Salvador. However, the delegation to El Salvador with SHARE has a very different itinerary, structure, and purpose than these other trips. I was vaguely aware of these differences, but really came to understand them at the trip information night that I attended in the fall, and then of course throughout our delegation. During this presentation, the teachers spoke to us about the ideas of solidarity and accompaniment, which I have come to understand in great depth. This was not to be a service trip or a relaxing vacation, but something completely different. The unique itinerary of this trip, and our unique roles as participants as listeners, learners and observers, is what really spoke to me. I knew right away that this was not a trip I could easily recreate with my family, as the connections that SHARE has to incredible NGOs, activists and communities on the ground in El Salvador were truly special.
For me, the most memorable part of the trip, which I continue to think about daily even now (almost a month after I have returned home) is the time that we spent in Huisisilapa. I continue to think a lot about the kids and families that I met there, especially because I have been lucky enough to be able to be in touch with my host-sister, Jennifer, via Facebook. Whether it be singing songs with the young children at the preschool, watching music videos in the hammocks with teenage daughters in my homestay, or dancing with the kids from the elementary school, there are so many specific moments and interactions with the kids from Huisisilapa that I will not forget. There are also specific images that have stuck with me, many of them as simple as the streets, the home that I stayed in, and sport court (where we had dances), the field, the store, etc. The community members and hosts who spoke with us shared histories and stories that I will also hold with me for a long time.