I want, with all of my heart, to bring Fidel & Saul to New York City for Christmas.
Not only do I want that, for my personal gratification of sharing my hometown with two young men who, along with their families, gave me everything for 2 years in El Salvador, but I need to bring them here.
Seeing New York City will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Fidel & Saul and I am certain that it will change their future.
They are the two young men from their community that have the potential to grow it.
Sometimes, all we need is a little inspiration...
I met Fidel & Saul during my Peace Corps service in El Salvador
USAID was offering a merit-based scholarship to youth-in-need for the opportunity to study for 2 years at North Central Technical College in Wisconsin.
No one from my Salvadoran community had ever studied in the states. Fidel & Saul had never traveled further than 2 hours (to go to the country capital) by bus. Fidel did not have electricity in his home, Saul was helping take care of his special-needs sister, with no help from doctors and/or the government, neither could speak English, both spent days off from school working in the fields, and neither expected to continue their education past high school.
Out of more than 300 applicants and only 24 winners, Fidel & Saul were 2 among the recipients of this coveted scholarship. They moved to Wisconsin in August 2011 and have ranked top in their class in their college business studies.
In June 2013, they are required to move back to El Salvador, with their Associate's Degree, to implement what they have learned in the US in their at-risk community at home in rural El Salvador.
This is not just a Christmas trip- this is an investment in their future.
When I speak of El Salvador and my Peace Corps experience, the families who fed me and the waterfalls that bathed me, I wear a smile that creases my cheeks and wrinkles my eyes. That will never leave me.
When I asked Fidel & Saul if they would like to come to NY, Fidel said "yyyyeeeesssssssssssss!!!" and Saul said "oh, Jaime, that is my dream."
Help me give them the smile that they gave me.
I know that with this inspiration, they will dedicate the rest of their lives to doing good in El Salvador, or wherever their paths may take them.
Read my blog to learn more about:
"¢ Saul's quest to become a photographer after learning to snap photos on his flip phone and being inspired to give his community what he lacks- a photograph of himself as a child.
"¢ Fidel's journey as a musician, playing guitar for his local church and his hopes to now play in NYC
"¢ My conversation with their school guidance counselor, and how she said they are top students in their class
"¢ Saul's experience overcoming the loss of his special needs sister (and not being able to be there)
Round Trip flights for Fidel & Saul from Wisconsin to NY
Daily Expenses in NY
Transportation- train, subway, taxi
Jaime has made this commitment and will carry through on it regardless. She feels it is her duty to give Fidel & Saul this experience and she knows that it will open up doors for them. If you want to help her out and become a part, she will try to reward you however she can.
You Shouldn't Donate:
The economy sucks, you can't find your credit card, you are planning for vacation...but...
If you WANT to donate, know that your money will make me smile and I will do my best to capture as many of the smiles that Fidel & Saul will surely be wearing on their faces, next to the Empire State Building and Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero, and share them with you.
I cannot wait to see their excitement. Maybe you want to be a part of it :)
Please email me if you you would like to meet them. They are AWESOME and their stories are THE BEST. (warning: you may cry).
I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in rural El Salvador from 2010-2012. Living as the sole US citizen in a tiny farm with a new culture & new values, I learned what was truly important. Compassion for your neighbor and the genuine relationships we form among each other. I have many jobs & many hobbies, but what matters most to me are the people in my life. The other stuff you will find out eventually...
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