El Salvador: Land of Martyrs

A LGBT-friendly pilgrimage with Sr. Jeannine Gramick – February 27 to March 6, 2009

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Day 1 – Friday, February 27

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Church Women, El Salvador

We are met by CGE staff at the San Salvador Airport in the early afternoon.

On the road from the airport, we pray at the site of the 1980 murder of four US Church women: Maura Clark, Ita Ford, Dorothy Kazel, and Jean Donovan, who worked with the poor during the civil war.

Day 2 – Saturday, February 28

This morning we visit Chalatenango, where two of the US Church women worked, and go to the Wall of Truth, where all the names of those killed in the 12-year civil war are listed. In the afternoon, we visit Entre Amigos, an LGBT  organization, and enjoy some folk music.

Day 3 – Sunday, March 1

Today we celebrate the Eucharist at a local church, visit a Christian base community, and see the Mayan ruins at Tazumal.

Day 4 – Monday, March 2

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During the Salvadoran Civil War, on 16 November 1989, Salvadoran Army soldiers killed six Jesuits and two others at their residence on the campus of José Simeón Cañas Central American University (UCA El Salvador) in San Salvador, El Salvador.

Today we participate in a popular education workshop on the history of El Salvador, and visit the Central American University, where we hear about Liberation Theology and the 1989 assassination of 6 Jesuit priests and two of their co-workers.

Day 5 – Tuesday, March 3

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Archbishop Romero’s body lies in the crypt at the San Salvador Cathedral

This morning we speak with church leaders and workers in the Archdiocesan Human Rights Office. We celebrate liturgy at the site of Archbishop Romero’s martyrdom and visit his burial place in the crypt of the Cathedral. Later we visit the offices of FUNDASIDA, an AIDS prevention organization.

Day 6 – Wednesday, March 4

Today we travel to the indigenous area of Izalco, where we visit a marketplace, observe traditional weaving in a women’s cooperative, see artisan projects, and learn about indigenous identity, spirituality, and culture. We return by way of Cerro Verde volcano and lake.

Day 7 – Thursday, March 5

Today we visit a coffee plantation, a practitioner of medicinal plants, and an artisan’s cooperative.

Day 8 – Friday, March 6 

We leave El Salvador in the morning to return home by nightfall. After dinner each evening, we will gather in the hotel to reflect on the pilgrimage. We will stay at a San Salvador hotel for the entire time of the pilgrimage. Times of visits to sites may be rearranged or substituted, according to local conditions.