About the Book
In February 2017, we had the incredible opportunity to travel to El Salvador with an organization called Shelter Canada in an effort to provide help and hope to some of the least fortunate people in the country. In 2001, a series of earthquakes devastated El Salvador. Nearly 1,000 people were killed, over 5,000 people were injured, and several hundred thousand people had their homes severely damaged or destroyed. In 2002, a group of individuals from Airdrie, AB responded to a call for help from El Salvador, and with a team of 10, built 3 homes in a week. While this initiative may seem insignificant when compared to the damage caused by the earthquakes, over the next 15 years, members of this original team have partnered with many other groups of individuals to construct over 2,200 homes for families in need in El Salvador. During our week in El Salvador, we worked together with locals to construct 14 homes in rural communities within the San Vicente department. We asked each family how their new home would affect their day-to-day lives. Their responses varied, but there were common themes among them. The homes represent a stable, secure foundation from which they can build a future. In Canada, we tend to take basic necessities for granted. When we sleep, we lock our doors. When we leave our homes, we know our valuables will be there when we return. When it rains, we go inside to stay dry. These things are daily struggles for many Salvadoran families, constant stresses that wear them down. Shelter Canada’s goal is to be a light in that darkness, and to provide hope to the hopeless. It was incredible to work shoulder to shoulder with these men, women, and children. To see them dignified in the work on their own homes, and to see them pour their hearts and souls back in to the surrounding community was truly a blessing.