It’s mid January and our children are heading back to school! Not just after the Christmas season and New Year’s break, but back to a whole new school year.
In El Salvador, the school runs from mid January through the end of October or first week into November. Many ask us why the school year is different than that of the US. Well, actually, we have the same reasons for vacation times. First, it is harvest time. El Salvador’s economy in years passed was cashed based. Much of that was coffee. November and December are the prime coffee picking months. Children were needed to help families in the fields to harvest the coffee, so the school year evolved around harvest time. Second, the weather is absolutely gorgeous this time of the year. The rainy season typically ends in October and winds bring in drier, often cooler air. (Now when we say “cooler,” we are talking about high temperatures in the low to mid-eighties rather than 90’s.) The skies are the prettiest of blues and so clear. There’s no better time to to head to the beaches that line the coast. So there’s the why!
Back to school means lots of prep work. There’s shopping for school shoes, socks and underclothes, measuring for uniforms and finding the endless list of school supplies. You all know the routine and effort that goes into getting children ready for their first day of school. This year, we have 19 children entering grades kinder through their senior year of high school and 4 into university. We don’t just need a cart at Walmart, we need a van to carry the supplies back to La Casa! Then, because of the tropical weather, all books, workbooks and notebooks are covered in plastic to help them last through the year. With average of about 25 books, workbooks, notebooks and agenda per child, that’s a lot of contact paper and work!
This is where we are blessed. For the past several years, a group from GlobalX out of Atlanta has come to help. They come with contact paper and scissors on hand, ready to get the job done. They sit with our children and staff as we all have a book covering “party”!
But not only do they help us with the physical labor, they bring down supplies to help with the cost of school supplies. And this year, each child received a new backpack, lunch box and water bottle. The children are surely blessed and ready to enter their new year with the supplies they need. This is huge for children with difficult pasts, wondering how different they will be from everyone else in their class.
We ended the week with field day activities, a cookout and handing out new backpacks to each child. Everyone cheered as each child came forward and was presented their backpacked filled with all their supplies, making each child feel so special and important. We are ready for a new year!
Thank you GlobalX Back-to-School team for your sacrifice, your love and all the joy you shared with us this past week!
Would you join us in praying for our children as they begin a new school year? Pray for friendships, pray for the diligence it takes to keep going even when studying is hard and pray for provision that all the needs to send the children to school each and every day are met. We appreciate those who give sacrificially so the children can attend schools that best meet their individual needs.
Here’s to a great new school year! May God be the glory!
P.S. Keep an eye out for our next blog to see how this team also reached out and loved on one of our families!