Home » In the News » MKLM Tutoring Program in El Salvador

The following is an update on a tutoring program being led by MKLM Missioner Larry Parr in El Salvador.
Greetings from El Salvador!
“I want to update you on my activity as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in El Salvador. I am finishing my ninth year here living and working with youth in the small town of Las Delicias. It has been such a blessing to able to accompany the youth in their journey for a better future. The reality of the youth in El Salvador continues to be very difficult, as they struggle to go forward with few opportunities for education and employment. Many kids are dropping out of school in the 6th and 7th grade, and very few have the chance to go to the university. There is also a lot of violence in the country, and many youth are caught in the middle of a war between the gangs and the police/military. In this situation of violence, I have seen the face of God in the youth working to create the kingdom of God.
There is a lot of hope and there are many projects working to create peace and opportunities for the youth of El Salvador.
One of our projects is called “Tutoring Program Father Dean Brackley S.J.,” where we have thirty young people from Las Delicias going to the Jesuit University, UCA, every Saturday to get tutoring and formation. We started this program three years ago together with the community of Los Sitios and the UCA to help kids get a better education, so that they are able to compete for scholarships to the university. It has been such a great program and it has been amazing to see the looks on the faces of the students as they walk around the university. This program also helps with their self-esteem and reminds them that if they work hard they can conquer their dreams. We provide transportation for the kids, $60 a week for the bus, and a small snack, and the UCA provides the tutors. One of our students, Cesar, lives up in the coffee fields and has to walk an hour to the bus to go the city. He was in the program for the first two years, and is now studying engineering in the UCA with a scholarship. He is working very hard to make his dreams come true, and it is so humbling to accompany him on this journey. This program is helping the students fulfill their dreams and become real contributors to their communities.
We are also providing eight scholarships to high school and university students in Las Delicias. This scholarship provides $30 a month to pay for their transportation cost, so that these students are able to study. The youth in this program are a part of the tutoring program, and also have monthly bible study and social hours. The $30 a month allows them to take the bus every day to school. Many kids in Las Delicias do not go to high school, because their family cannot afford the bus fare. In the last five years, we have had eleven students finish high school with help from this program, and we hope to help ten next year. These students also help in our community library, teach break-dancing, and coach soccer in our sports program called “playing for peace.” We are trying to work with youth to create safe spaces to play and study, and create opportunities for them.
Thanks so much for all your prayers and support, which allows us to provide the youth with these projects. I truly see the presence of God in the faces of the children and youth groups. I have included a link to an article I wrote for the Maryknoll magazine about our sports programs. Working together with the Salvadoran youth, we can help to create a more just and compassionate world. Thanks again for all the support!”
Please remember that MKLM funds travel, medical, and living expenses, as well as other costs associated with keeping our people in mission. Please consider donating to Maryknoll Lay Missioners so that Larry, and the many other missioners like him, can continue to serve those in need worldwide.