DELEGATIONS TO ARCATAO
On a regular basis, people from Madison travel to Arcatao. Usually the delegations number 8-15 people and can include anyone: families, students, working and older adults, teens, musicians, elected officials, members of the press, etc. They are 7-10 days long and include visiting important historical sites in San Salvador, home stays in Arcatao, outdoor activities, meetings with community groups and lots of visiting and sharing. Each delegation has a theme that is chosen based on what is going on in Arcatao at the moment and on the specific participants in the delegation.
All delegations are planned with the help of the USESSC staff in San Salvador. They arrange all the housing and travel arrangements while the group is in country and help the community members in Arcatao plan for housing and activities while the delegation is there. One of the USESSC staff travels with every delegation.
All of the MASCP delegations are focused on person-to- person relationships and cross-cultural solidarity. They are carefully planned for sharing information and experiences and for understanding each other’s lives and realities better. Some involve doing a project together that is suggested by community leaders in Arcatao. Some delegations take specific medication and school supplies that the clinic administrator and teachers request. Others share experiences dealing with specific political challenges such as mining, water privatization, immigration, or globalization.
Every other year a student delegation from Edgewood College in Madison visits Arcatao. Edgewood Spanish professor, Ian Davies, and long-time MASCP activist, Marc Rosenthal, teach a class at Edgewood on El Salvador and take the students to San Salvador and Arcatao as part of the class experience.
MASCP also supports delegates from Arcatao and El Salvador to Madison whenever we can. It is very difficult to obtain the necessary US visas for Salvadoran travelers at all— much less in a timely manner. This makes planning delegations from Arcatao very challenging but with the help of USESSC, we do have visits occasionally from our friends in Arcatao.