My favorite place in the world

My trip to El Salvador began and ended with tears. I left California feeling anxious and nervous about living in a new country, learning a new language, and meeting new people. Little did I know the unforgettable experiences I would have in the four months that I would spend there, and the precious relationships I would build that would forever impact my life.

I knew in my heart there was something to be explored about this small country that is so often given very little credit or positive recognition. What I saw and experienced was a wonderful country full of culture, delicious food, relaxing beaches and mountains, and most of all beautiful people – people who were proud of their country and love more than anything to share it with others. My students and their families, the teachers at my school, my neighbors, and everyone I met, went out of their way to make me feel warmly welcomed to their country and a part of their families.

They opened up their homes and their hearts and made me feel truly at home in El Salvador – even when my actual home was thousands of miles away. Despite the fact that my family and friends were unsure about my decision, I convinced them enough through e-mails about my experiences to visit and experience it for themselves. As people greeted them with an abundance of generosity and kindness they understood why I had fallen in love with El Salvador. Four months later, I found myself with tears again as I had to say goodbye to a place and people that had become so special to me. Overall, I feel so grateful to have had such an amazing opportunity. My experiences were unforgettable and I will always hold a special place in my heart for the people I have met in El Salvador.