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Personal Stories

“My most memorable experience from Camp Salvador was the award ceremony that they had for us when we had finished the camp. Not only did it give me a great sense of accomplishment, but it showed me how much the community appreciated our help. All these amazing people were truly grateful for what we had done and that is when I fell in love with the community. ”

Abbie Magee
Camp Salvador Counselor 2013
Mead High School

“One of the most striking things about the trip was its effect on my ego. After leaving, I felt emboldened, intelligent, and invincible. My experience in El Salvador has affected my life in unexpected ways. It has shown me how important it is to think globally.”
Emily Christianson
Camp Salvador Counselor 2013
The Community School

“Camp Salvador made me snap out of vacation mode and look close at where I was and what we were doing. In the U.S., we have a lot of privileges like clean water, basic healthcare, and access to education. In countries like El Salvador, the situation is very different. This program gave me the opportunity to experience what life is like for others.”

Wesley Houser
Camp Salvador Counselor 2013
Bainbridge High School

“Each year the counselors in the US and El Salvador work hard to make Camp Salvador bigger and better than the year before. We plan many activities each year. The kids in Huisi love camp and look forward to it.”

Liv Payne
Camp Salvador Counselor 2013 & 2014
Lewis and Clark High School

“My experience with the community helped shape the person I am today. It’s a joy to watch others discover who they are going to be and to be a part of a project that continues to empower young people.”

Ilsa Payne
Head Counselor and Trainer
Eastern Washington University

I first went to Huisisilapa, El Salvador in 2005 with group of high school students. Going to Huisi was one of the most eye-opening experiences I have ever had. Since then, my ongoing relationships with people there have taught me the true meaning of solidarity and it’s a practice that makes me a better activist, scholar, and friend.

My experiences have shown me that regardless of geography, it is circumstances, not inherent differences that provide the pretext for many of the divisions in the world. At the same time, the relationships I have formed with people in Huisi have given me the motivation and hope to address these disparities.

While I know that I have no proximate responsibility for the political situation in El Salvador, my experiences have shown me how directly collective ignorance and inaction can affect people thousands of milesand several borders away, driving me to be more conscious of how we are all implicated. Although I do not have the ability to immediately change the social and economic realities of the world, I believe that true solidarity and friendships are crucial in helping to create change. I know that the existing relationships between Huisi and Spokane have provided crucial support and hope as people in Huisi struggle with complicated economic, social and political challenges and being part of this dynamic has been one of the most meaningful parts of my life—I would urge everyone to see what it’s like!

Laurel Fish,
Saint George’s Class of 2009
Stanford Class of 2014