My Maryknoll lay missioner colleague Melissa Altman and I recently collaborated to create and offer a six-week summer art camp at the Patronato Lidia Coggiola. In El Salvador, summer is the dry season, which lasts from November to April. Schools’ summer vacations are from mid November to mid January.
Our “Arte y Convivencia” (Art and Fellowship) program gave about 20 local students in the El Zaite community the opportunity to come together each week to create art with recycled or found materials and enjoy social and recreational time together.
The Patronato Lidia Coggiola, my primary place of ministry, is a nonprofit organization focused on community education and transformation in El Zaite, a rural community located just outside Zaragoza in the department of La Libertad. Life for the children and their families in El Zaite is very challenging—with limited access to clean water, proper nutrition, and employment opportunities, and the constant stress of living in a gang-controlled area.
Photos by Becca Muder, Joselin Aguilar, Adela Zayas and Melissa Altman. Shared with permission of Patronato Lidia Coggiola.