Travel with St. Sebastian Parish to Teosinte, El Salvador, August 13-21, 2015

You are cordially invited

  • To travel to El Salvador
  • To learn more about the work of SHARE in San Salvador
  • To visit sacred places in Salvadoran history (the Central American University, the residence and chapel of Oscar Romero, the shrine of the four martyred American Church women)
  • To journey up the mountain to our sister community of Teosinte and visit with the people of the community
  • To pray and celebrate with our friends
  • Then to return home

Then, return home and hare your experience with others.  Be a Witness to the Gospel, the “Good News” alive in Teosinte!
Open to teens and above, though those under 18 must be with an adult.

Delegates are required to participate in building the delegation experience and commit to sharing their experience with the St. Sebastian/St. Catherine communities.

Information packets are available in the Teosinte Corner at church, or see the Frequently Asked Questions document.

Be sure to read the St. Sebastian delegation information on the SHARE site.

Preparation Calendar

Jan 12, 7 p.m., Parish House Dining Room – Delegation Dialogue
Feb 21 – Applications and deposits due (partial funds will be provided by the Parish)
Preparation meetings: March, April, May
Travel: August 13-21, 2015

For more information: 414-416-3209,


 Teosinte is a small village of about 250 people, located in the mountainous region near the northern border between El Salvador and Honduras.

What is the relationship between St. Sebastian and Teosinte?

 The people of Teosinte actually met while living in a refugee camp in Honduras, called Mesa Grande. They had fled El Salvador during the violent civil war in the 1980’s. Braving ongoing violence, learning to farm in the mountains, and sacrificing what limited food and shelter resources were available in the camp, these people repatriated in Teosinte because it had a church building, arable land, and a good water supply. To help overcome the economic challenges of repatriating, various non-governmental organizations sought to support repatriating Salvadorans. One such organization, SHARE, organized sistering relationships between these villages and interested individuals, churches, and organizations across the U.S. St. Sebastian began a sistering relationship with Teosinte following the first formal parish delegation to Teosinte in 1991. This current delegation will be the 6th formal parish delegation to Teosinte.

What is the purpose of a delegation?

 A delegation is an amazing opportunity to continue to build a relationship between the people of Teosinte and the parish of St. Sebastian. Delegates are ambassadors from our parish, assigned the task of representing St. Sebastian parish in the process of helping translate our parish soul and mission to the people of Teosinte, and listening to the individual, family, parish, and village needs of the people in Teosinte. Delegations help our parish Human Concerns Committee more fully learn ways to share time, talent, treasury, with the people of Teosinte.

You mean I won’t be building houses or clinics or bridges?

 Not directly. Delegations are about building relationships, particularly relationships between the village of Teosinte and the St. Sebastian parish. Those relationships translate into helping the people of Teosinte strengthen their community infrastructure, faith experience, and families.

Ok, so how would I know if I’m an “ideal” delegate?

 Mostly, you have to be flexible, and willing…willing to actively represent the parish to the people in El Salvador, willing to learn from the people of El Salvador, willing to share your experience with the parish, and willing to make a commitment to helping organize and implement many of the logistics for the delegation experience. This commitment is critical for delegation team building, and sharing responsibilities for the success of the experience.

What’s it like in Teosinte?

 It’s mountainous (like the Smoky Mountains), it’s hot (90’s by noon), a bit wet (August is when the rainy season is starting to taper off…expect showers), lots of trees, bugs (not too many, but aside from flies and mosquitoes some are quite unique), gravel and dirt roads and paths (lots of walking, on ground that isn’t very level), outhouses (very very very very few toilets and sinks such in Teosinte),

What’s it like living with the people in Teosinte?

 Imagine being surrounded by people of all ages, everyone smiling, staring, asking thousands of questions at the same time wanting to know everything about you and your family and the U.S., roosters roostering at 3:30 a.m., showering in cold mountain spring water, eating amazing but simple meals of beans and tortillas and pupusas, living with a family and getting to know how they experience life, visiting the family or communal rice and corn fields, using translators or Spanish/English dictionaries to communicate, learning that laughing needs no translation. That’s about a tenth of the whole experience.

Ok, so what do I need to do to get started?

 Anyone interested in participating in the delegation must complete the delegation. You can find copies of the application in the Teosinte Corner of the Gathering Space. NOTE: the application has been developed by the SHARE Foundation. However, DO NOT return the application to SHARE. Please give the application to a member of the El Salvador Committee (contact persons are noted below). All ages are welcome, though any applicant under age 18 must be chaperoned by her/his parent or responsible guardian. If you have questions, please speak with a member of the El Salvador Committee. Applications are due no later than February 1, 2015. A small group from the El Salvador Committee will review all applications, complete a discernment process, and select the slate of delegates. Discernment and notification to delegates will be made by March 1, 2015.

What are the important numbers?

  •   Dates of the delegation: August 13, 2015 to August 21, 2015
  •   Costs: Approximately $1200 per person
  •   Age: All are invited; anyone under 18 must be chaperoned by parent or responsible guardian.
  •   Due dates:
    • February 1, 2015: Delegation application
    • March 1, 2015: Delegates discerned and notified
    • March through August: various delegation meetings to be determined by the delegation
  •   El Salvador Committee monthly meetings: Second Monday of each month @ 7pWho do I contact for more information?
  •   Sandy Swietlik – 414-416-3209
  •   David B. Goehner – 414-517-1688