November 16, 2014, will mark twenty-five years since Ignacio Ellacuría, S.J., Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J., Segundo Montes, S.J., Juan Ramón Moreno, S.J., Joaquín López y López, S.J., Amando López, S.J. and their housekeeper Elba Ramos, and her 15 year-old daughter Celina Ramos, were murdered at the University of Central America in San Salvador, El Salvador.
The lives and loss of these martyrs have significantly influenced the Ignatian family in the United States and throughout the world. Jesuit institutions have re-defined what it is to be universities, high schools, parishes, etc. in light of the martyrs, discerning new ways of addressing issues of social justice locally and abroad. Across the Ignatian family new ways of proceeding have developed over the course of twenty-five years. ISN itself, is a direct product of the spirit of the martyrs, forming in response to their tragic deaths at the hands of many individuals who received training at the former U.S. Army School of the Americas.
An Overview of the 25th Anniversary Delegation:
The 25th Anniversary delegation will provide participants with a framework for exploring the historical elements of the martyrs’ lives from a contemporary lens while engaging very personally in the modern issues of social justice that our brothers and sisters in El Salvador encounter.
The experience will include the opportunity to visit important sites related to the lives of the Jesuits and their companions, stay with Salvadoran families in countryside communities, and explore issues of injustice through presentations and activities. Issues include migration, labor rights, environmental sustainability, access to water, etc. Delegates will meet with a wide array of individuals while in El Salvador including community members, NGO leaders, Jesuits, etc. Reflection, opportunities for prayer, and the celebration of the Eucharist will be daily components of the experience, including a closing liturgy on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
ISN will partner with Christians for Peace in El Salvador (CRISPAZ) to facilitate the delegation. Founded in the mid-1980’s, CRISPAZ is a faith-based organization dedicated to building bridges of solidarity between the Church of the poor and marginalized communities in El Salvador and communities in the US and other countries through mutual accompaniment, striving together for peace, justice, sustainability, and human liberation.
Taking the Experience Beyond El Salvador:
A key goal of the experience will be for participants to develop and implement methods of engaging their local communities in the experience upon their return, as well as the larger Ignatian family through online reflections and the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice. Participants will be asked to share a pre-trip plan for how they will bring their experience with their local community. Throughout the delegation there will be time for reflection and opportunities for participants to discuss ideas. Participants will also be strongly encouraged to attend the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice 2014 in Washington, DC, where there will be a number of ways for these participants to share their experiences with the larger group.
Who should participate?:
The delegation is open to religious and lay individuals from North American Jesuit/Ignatian institutions including: parish members, faculty, administrators, institutional leaders, college/university students, and alumni. Institutions may utilize this delegation as a formational opportunity for mission & identity staff (ie. ministry, service, mission offices). Delegates will represent Jesuit/Ignatian parishes, high schools, universities, social ministries, and other works. The total group size will be approximately 40 people. To allow for a diversity of institutions to participate, we ask that institutional groups be limited to three participants. The delegation is not open to individuals under the age of 18.
Participants will take part in a number of online preparation meetings during the Spring/Summer of 2014.
Delegation Dates: July 24, 2014 – August 1, 2014
Room & Board: The majority of the time in-country the delegation will stay at Centro Loyola, the Jesuit retreat center located near the University of Central America (UCA). Centro Loyola offers accommodations similar to a U.S. retreat center including shared rooms with a bathroom, spaces for reflection and prayer, community dining, etc. Two nights will be spent in rural home stays with families in communities where the Jesuit martyrs had ministered. Accommodations in family homes will offer participants a first-hand experience of rural life in Central America. Throughout the trip participants will have the opportunity to experience many typical Central American dishes.
Schedule Overview (TENTATIVE):
Thursday, July 24th – Travel to El Salvador
Friday, July 25th – Overview of the Jesuit Martyrs
Saturday, July 26th & Sunday, July 27th – Homestays in rural communities
Sunday, July 27th – Homestays in rural communities
Monday, July 28th – Wednesday, July 30th – Topic-oriented Speakers & Site visits
Thursday, July 31st – Closing Session & Feast of St. Ignatius Liturgy
Friday, August 1st – Return to the U.S.
Safety and Health:
On January 23, 2013, the U.S. State Department released a travel warning statement to inform U.S. citizens about the security situation in El Salvador. ISN will continue to monitor State Department releases and be in conversation with CRISPAZ regarding the safety and security in El Salvador. Since the travel statement CRISPAZ has utilized careful safety evaluation and planning to continue to host groups, including those from Jesuit institutions across the U.S.
No immunizations are required for participation in the 25th Anniversary Delegation or for entrance into El Salvador. However, the U.S. Center for Disease Control does provide recommendations for those traveling to El Salvador to consider in preparation for the delegation. Immunizations are not included in the registration fee because they are the personal choice an individual participant. However, we encourage every participant to seriously consider a consultation with a travel clinic physician before departing on the delegation.
Participants will be asked to complete a health form that provides ISN and CRISPAZ with information that would be vital for emergency medical treatment. This form will be shared with other pre-trip documents upon completion of final payment. We also require that participants provide documentation of a medical insurance policy that provides coverage in El Salvador. In most cases, a personal or family medical insurance policy will include international coverage. However, an individual might consider purchasing a one-time travel insurance policy that covers both travel and medical incidents.
Until December 11, 2013:
ISN 2013-2014 Member Institution Rate – $1,250.00
Non-Member Institution Rate – $1,300.00
After November 21, 2013 until January 7, 2014:
ISN 2013-2014 Member Institution Rate – $1,300.00
Non-Member Institution Rate – $1350.00
*** A $300 deposit non-refundable deposit is due upon registration. Final payment is due February 17, 2014.
The participant fee includes:
- Preparation materials and facilitation of pre-trip online meetings
- ALL room, board, transport and activity fees from arrival in El Salvador until departure
- Trip facilitation by CRISPAZ throughout time in El Salvador (includes translators, guides, etc.)
- Registration fee for the 2014 Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington DC
The participant fee does not include:
- Airfare (though ISN will coordinate group travel via travel agent, which includes opportunity for group book rate)
- Passport fees (a valid travel document is required for participation)
- Immunizations (while not required, ISN suggests consulting the Center for Disease Control for recommended immunizations)
- Travel Insurance (documentation of medical insurance that includes international coverage is required)
- Personal items and expenses (souvenirs, photography equipment, etc.)
Financial Aid & Fundraising:
At this time, ISN does not have financial funds available. However, ISN will assist participants in fundraising by providing resources and serving as a legal tax-exempt entity for the intake of donations to support the delegation.
Supporting the Delegation:
For many people traveling to El Salvador is not an option. However, you can still be an important part of the delegation through your prayers and financial support. If you would like to make a donation to support of individuals participating in the 25th Anniversary Delegation, you can do so via our secure online donation page. Questions about making a donation can be directed to Christopher Kerr, ISN Executive Director at 216-397-2088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.