The Soy Program prepares to move to Zaragoza - Maryknoll Lay Missioners
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Fall 2022 newsletter

Ann Greig, El Salvador

Telling beneficiaries about the closing of the San Ramón program.

Greetings from the Soy Program, I send warm greetings, hoping that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy, enjoying the beginning of fall.

In August I told the beneficiaries of the Soy Program that the program would end at the end of the year. We still did not let people into the building because of COVID, but on this day people were welcomed in; it was an unexpected and sad day.

More conversations with beneficiaries in San Ramón

Marta said, “This is bittersweet news. On the one hand, I am happy that you have your well-deserved retirement. However, it is sad because the program is closing.”

We talked about the year people came in and the many memories we have shared. They thanked me, and people were grateful for the 28 years we have been in San Ramón. I reminded people that I do not do this ministry alone; donors, my team in the program, Salvadoran professionals, and friends have been a vital part of the program.

I shared with them this passage from the Gospel of Luke:

And the crowd asked him, “What should we do, then?” In response, he told them, “Whoever has two coats should share with anyone who has none, and whoever has food should do the same. (Luke 3:10-11)

I hasten to add that even though the Soy Program will end this year in San Ramón, the beneficiaries will have another resource. We have made an agreement with the local Parish of the Good Shepherd to support the families that formerly benefited from Soy Program; we are collaborating with the parish so that they incorporate these families into their food program.

In previous newsletters, I mentioned that I wanted to learn how to make soy yogurt. Bingo! — after three attempts, I produced a creamy and flavorful yogurt made with soymilk. I have made the following flavors using fresh fruit: blueberry, apple cinnamon and strawberry. Mission accomplished!

With Melissa and Pete Altman, who will be the new coordinators of the Soy Program in Zaragoza, I visited the community of Asuchio near Zaragoza. Asuchio will be the location of the beneficiaries of the relaunched program.

As you can see in the photo below, I met with a group of local church leaders. The first point was to explain the importance of including soy milk and soy products in the Salvadoran diet. It is equally important to point out that the main staples of the Salvadoran meal plan are nutritious, but incorporating soy will increase the overall nutritional value of their daily meals.

I always tell delegations that I think it is a fair statement to say that changing eating habits in any culture is a challenge. Therefore, we incorporate soy into Salvadoran cuisine, which has helped enormously with the acceptance of recipes.

Although I will close the San Ramón location, I look forward to working with Melissa and Pete in Zaragoza’s day-to-day operations next year. I will be sharing my knowledge and experience with the new team: My goal is that, at the end of the Year 2023, Melissa and Pete will feel proficient with their new challenges.

I remain eternally grateful to all of you who have supported and walked with me on this journey. You have been instrumental in improving the quality of life of many Salvadoran families. Please continue to support the Soy Program in its new location!


Introducing the Soy Program to Asuchio church leaders

Please consider making a special gift to Maryknoll Lay Missioners’ “Walk With Us” campaign, which raises money for the recruitment, training and ongoing support of all of us lay missioners. We can only “walk with” the people here because you are “walking with” us. Thanks to matching gifts, every $100 given to the campaign in effect becomes $150. To donate ONLINE, click the “Walk With Us” button below. Thank you so much for your generosity!


Ann Greig
Ann Greig is the co-founder and director of the Health through Nutrition Soy Project in San Ramón, El Salvador. The project provides families with better health and nutrition as well as with education on health and social issues through workshops.