Sunday, September 10, 2006

Our Top Ten Reasons to Stay in El Salvador

We can finally answer the question so many have been asking... Amy's Fulbright grant is up, we have passed our one year anniversary of arriving in El Salvador, we have decided to stay another year. To give you an idea of some of the reasons we find it so difficult to leave, we've created our "Top Ten List of Reasons so Stay in El Salvador Another Year." Enjoy!

# 10.
Mango season lasts from February to July!

Mangoes from Bajo Lempa tucked away in the Alley Cat's (our fellow missionary Noah's) satchel for the bus ride to San Salvador were the best. We're looking forward to the first one in '07.

# 9. So we can see the houses finished and folks move in at El Maizal, the Episcopal Relief and Development Village being built for people displaced by the 2001 earthquakes.

# 8. Cooking lessons from our Co-Madre Mercedes! Mercedes cooks wonderful meals for the volunteers who come to work on the ERD projects, and we are God-parents to her children, Jenni and Abel, 7 and 6.

# 7. Expanding the school at San Andrés. Amy has a lot of ideas about acquiring more property, adding seventh, eight, and ninth grades, and working to improve the education offered at Colegio Episcopal San Andrés Apóstol.

# 6. Guitar classes. Vince has about 50 students from different congregations from all over the country learning guitar. A few have started to play in the eucharists. With the help from the man of a thousand songs, Don Mario Peraza from Santa Maria Vírgen, soon they'll all be playing in the churches. We also started piano classes with 15 or so steady students. Stand-up bass, guitarron, vihuela, drum lessons(for San Pedro/San Pablo), and possibly mandolin are next.

#5 Watching our baby trees for the reforestation/ag development project grow! This is a baby Moringa tree, a remarkable tree that can help cure malnutrition, combat parasites, regulate insulin in diabetes patients, act as a super-fertilizer for crops, and even purify water! We hope to plant several experimental plots of it on church properties around the country.

# 4. Because the "Obeez-po" says sooo! (Actually, he says he'd like us to stay for twenty more years, but he'll settle for one to start with.)

# 3. Helping the church to grow. There is so much potential for outreach and growth both at San Andrés and in the Anglican Episcopal Church around the country.

# 2. We still have a lot to learn...

# 1 The TOP reason is...
LA GENTE– The people of El Salvador, who are so incredibly welcoming, loving, resilient, and inspiring, and whom we've come to love so much.

We hope to stay on in El Salvador as missionaries of the Episcopal Church in the U.S., either through the National Church, the Diocese of Northern California, or some other arrangement. We do know that in any case we will need to raise our living expenses for this next year, which total about $15,000, and that the people who really "send" us on mission will be those who partner with us in this work both by their prayers and financial support. If you (or your congregation) would like to be a part of our work in El Salvador for the next year in a very real way, Foundation Cristosal, a U.S. non-profit which supports the work of the Anglican Episcopal Church in El Salvador, has agreed to receive donations for us, which are tax-deductible. Checks should be made out to "Foundation Cristosal, Inc." with "Denney Zuniga Mission Fund" in the memo line and mailed to Cristosal at 681 North Hill Cross Road, Ludlow VT, 05149. Additionally, Cristosal will be updating their website ( in the next month to include information about our work and a link to our blog along with options for donating online. If you choose to donate, you will receive an acknowledgement from Cristosal and a thank you from us, and you will be participating in a tangible way in the exciting work God is doing in this little "pulgarcito de América" (little thumb of America, El Salvador's nickname). We also hope you will consider a trip to El Salvador! We can tell you from experience it can be a life-changing visit.


Anonymous said...

Amy and Vince. I am a previous ERD volunteer to the Diocese of El Salvador (June 2005). Your web site helps me stay up to date with the amazing work that is being done there. I was wondering if you would be staying and am relieved to hear that you are. I have been impressed with your work. I also totally agree with your statement that education of the youth is the key to the future of El Salvador. Thank you for all your contributions and you have my support and prayers.

Jessica said...

Amy and Vince-
El Salvador is lucky to have YOU and YOUR passion! I know your work is changing so many lives and I look forward to seeing you all again soon in el pulgarcito.

much love.

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