Viva Monsignor Romero! Thinking of El Salvador

I’m still in Sri Lanka, but during this coming week—the anniversary of Monsignor Oscar Romero’s assassination 26 years ago—my mind and a piece of my heart are on the other side of the world.

Exactly one year ago this week, I had the incredible fortune being in El Salvador during the 25th anniversary, where I was leading a group of AJWS Alternative Breakers; we were able to spend time with one of Romero’s friends, Jose “Chencho” Alas, who took us on a kind of personal martyrdom tour of San Salvador, where everywhere we went, people shouted “Padre Chencho! Padre Chenco!” with enormous smiles appearing on their faces at the site of this ex-priest, our guide for the day. I invite you to read the following message from Chencho’s Foundation for Self-Sufficiency in Central America. If you follow the links, you’ll even see a photo of Chencho meeting the Dalai Lama a few months ago! There is also information on studying and volunteering abroad. Please read on:


Monsignor Oscar Romero is alive and well in the hearts of so many people in El Salvador and around the world. During the last year, the outpouring of interest and support in the Romero Memorial Tree Project has demonstrated once again that despite his death, he continues to inspire us. On March 24th we celebrate the 26th anniversary of his martyrdom.

More than 100 US college students have been visiting the projects in El Salvador during their spring break. Instead of sunbathing in Fort Lauderdale, they’ve chosen service learning that includes planting
thousands of mangroves in honor of Romero around the environmentally sensitive Bay of Jiquilisco.


In the Culture, Spirituality, and Theology of Peace Project, we’ve learned a lot about life and our connection to nature. Here’s what a young Mayan woman recently taught us about this:

Graduate Students at Vermont’s School for International Training did a case study on the Romero Memorial Tree Project.

For those of you watching the “Romero” movie this anniversary, remember that our friend Carlos Carlorado has written a very helpful guide to the movie. Its great for initiating discussion or just to enrich your understanding and appreciation of Romero’s struggle.


Isaac “Ike” Trevino & Jose “Chencho” Alas
Executive Director Founder & Peace Project Director

PS, Remember that there’s still time to sign up for our summer tour, July
22-29. Contact us if you’d like to participate.

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