It has taken me until today to gather my thoughts about my trip to El Salvador. Not a day goes by that I don't think about the people I met in San Felipe.
As I began to reflect on my experience, I realized something that surprised me. The people who live in San Felipe didn't need our help, they cherished our company. In an isolated village, you see the same faces every day. But we were new, strange, exciting and different. However, we became a part of that community faster than I ever could have imagined.
We started our week off by doing some research about the different countries the IRC kids were coming from and why they are refugees. Most of the kids we met are from Iraq, Bhutan, Burma, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many of the refugees were persecuted due to their religion or ethnicity and spent years living in refugee camps before being one of the few to be resettled. The Mitzvah Corps teens were so moved that many of the IRC kids were open about sharing their stories. In working with these kids, we are reminded of Exodus 22:21, as we were once strangers in the land of Egypt.
By: Eliot Weinstein, Beth Lipschutz, and Michael Wagner, Staff Team, Mitzvah Corps Nicaragua-El Castillo As we prepare to welcome Shabbat, we’ve been blessed with the opportunity to reflect on this week’s Torah portion, Va’etchanan, which resonates particularly strongly today. Va’etchanan includes the words of theSh’ma prayer (Deuteronomy 6:4-9), Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One. This commandment, encouraging us to step back and really listen, has been one we’ve discussed often over this last week. Participants are drawn to Mitzvah Corps because they want to take action; simply talking isn’t enough, simply reading about issues in […]