Global Insights kicks off with El Salvador

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Erica Amaya ’20, psychology; Sophia Cornejo ’18, international studies; Jose Sanchez, MA, assistant director, Cross Cultural Centers.

Known as the Land of Volcanos and home of La Puerta del Diablo (The Door of the Devil), El Salvador lies on the western coast of Central America bordered by Guatemala and Honduras. Roughly the size of New Jersey, El Salvador is home to 6.2 million people. Co-facilitators, Jose Sanchez, Assistant Director of the University Cross Cultural Centers, Sophia Cornejo, senior- International Studies, and Erica Amaya, sophomore- Psychology, will present on the country and culture at the first fall Global Insights program on September 21, 2017 beginning at 11:30am in Brennan Hall, The Rose Room 5th floor. A light lunch featuring cuisine from the highlighted country will be served. Registration is required. Click here to register.

Entering his second year as Asst. Director, Jose Sanchez grew up in El Salvador before immigrating to the US in 1998, where he graduated from Martin Luther King, Jr. High School in Manhattan. He shared that he would like the audience to know that El Salvador is about much more than the long civil war which lasted 12 years and ended in 1994. Sanchez says the people are friendly, family orientated, hard working in a mainly agricultural based society. In rural areas, the people farm rice, coffee, corn, beans and sugar cane while city folks find themselves working in factories, malls or vendors in street markets. One of the few Latin American countries that changed their currency to the US dollar, many people in El Salvador live on only $1.25 per day. Sanchez says that the people are mainly content and happy. “Family is valued in El Salvador. Once you get home, you have dinner together and relax. Neighborhood and community is important. There’s a strong sense of a supportive community and gratitude .”

As a child, Sophia Cornejo lived in Departmento La Paz, El Salvador for eight years with her family. She remembers the time as being “a very simple life, but at the same time so rich because the people you connected with and their traditions made it so rich.” Cornejo feels that the history of violence and brutality in the country has helped to foster an appreciation for peace and the simple life now. “People acknowledge the pain, but want to focus on the positive.”

Erica Amaya has family roots in Cabanas and Union. She shared that her cultural background has taught her the importance of “respecting people and being nice to everyone, having strong character, putting yourself out there and accepting others.” When visiting El Salvador, her father took her to his church. She remarked on how nice it was that “Everyone treats each other like family there.”

Sanchez, Cornejo and Amaya look forward to sharing more about the country and the culture with the campus community.

This program is being offered by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, the Cross Cultural Centers, Residence Life and the Office of Equity and Diversity. For more information, please contact Huey Shi Chew at hueyshi.chew@scranton.edu or 570-941-7575.

 

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