Category Archives: El Salvador

I should be in Haiti right now, but I’m in chilly NJ!

I bet if I looked back at all my blog posts, a high percentage would start out with some variation of “sorry it has taken me so long to write…” 🙂

I did not intend to be Stateside so long after the holidays, but our project to Haiti, originally slated for January, was postponed to February and finally cancelled last week.

It feels odd to be home right now because my schedule (which I had been working on for months) was to be in Haiti with a team of animal science and agriculture trainers. Our team of 6 women was supposed to arrive in Port Au Prince on Saturday, but due to political unrest and riots, we had to cancel our trip. The goats have already been purchased and will be distributed to the students in Marbial by our local contacts in Haiti this week.

Last year, I wrote a blog post about how much research and planning goes into my projects before I leave the States. It can take up to a year from when we get the project application until we have a team in the community. One of the hardest events to follow/predict are elections. I generally try to avoid countries during elections, but sometimes it is inevitable. In the case of Haiti, a new president should have been selected months ago, but votes were cancelled indefinitely after allegations of fraud and distrust led to protests and riots.

I wrote a 2-page letter that donors to the Goat project received last week. It details what is going on in Haiti and how our program will continue even though we are not there physically. If interested, read it here: Letter about the Gift a Goat program.

Special thanks to Oregon Girl Scout Troop 10143 and Saint Mary’s CCD students. Troop 10143 sent me an awesome care package with supplies for the students in Haiti. The package included important hygiene items like toothpaste, toothbrushes and soaps. Saint Mary’s CCD students raised enough money for a little over 3 goats and each student made a card for me to bring to the kids in Haiti. I am keeping all those items packed and ready to go as soon as we reschedule our flights to Haiti 🙂

In addition to raising funds for Haiti, the “Gift a Goat & More!” campaign also raised enough money to build a water tower and latrines in San Antonio, Guatemala and latrines in La Cumbre, El Salvador. I am heading to Guatemala on February 23rd to work in San Antonio. I am excited to be working with the same community I worked with back in 2009 (see post “Then and Now” to read about San Antonio).

Lastly, I will take a couple weeks to study Spanish while I am in Guatemala to improve my communication skills (wahoo!.. maybe I will learn how to say “wahoo!” in Spanish 😉 )

Thank you for your support of these projects!

p.s. There are some pros to being home in February – the last time I was home for my birthday was back in 2012. Now I can take advantage of all those coupons that come in only for your “birthday month” 😉

Building a snowman for Schmitty is another plus to being home for some extra time this winter :)

Building a snowman for Schmitty is another plus to being home for some extra time this winter 🙂


Filed under El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti

2015 Review

I am so excited to announce that WE REACHED OUR FUNDING GOAL for the “Gift a Goat & More” campaign! Thank you all for supporting and sharing the fundraiser with your friends and family!

As I am preparing for my 2016 projects, I realized that I almost forgot to highlight what we have accomplished together in 2015!

See the video below for a recap of some of my main projects.

Thank you all so much for your ongoing support of these water, sanitation, hygiene and livestock programs.

I consider you all part of my team as I would not be able to be working in the field without you all supporting me in many different ways!

Have a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!


December 24, 2015 · 12:41 pm

Photos from El Salvador! (a catchy title, right?)

Hello Everyone!

I am finally back online (in Guatemala!).

Thanks to Melissa for posting the previous two updates from my satellite messenger messages (which is usually truncated messages and can be a bit of a pain to put together).

I know it is not much fun reading a post without photos so now that I am using a computer, I will start with photos from La Cumbre, El Salvador.  La Cumbre is the community I worked in earlier this year (the one with the two water tanks capturing spring water from the mountaintop). My long-time friend, Jen, came with me to see the project and work with some of the kids in the community (she is a PE teacher in the States). I brought some parts to improve the water filtration at the outlet pipes in the tanks. We only spent 4 days in La Cumbre, but it was plenty of time to go over imporvements for the water tank and spend time with the families (and play soccer TWICE!).

the second tank (the large storage tank) functioning well

The second tank (the large storage tank) functioning well

As it was mentioned in my previous post, there was a little drought before we arrive and the tanks were empty. We talked about conserving water and the community understood and agreed to use the tank water soley for drinking water during dry periods. We prayed at the tanks for God to provide rain – rainwater that would fill the tanks, feed the crops and sustain the families.

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Filed under El Salvador, Hydromissions

Back to where it all began!

  We crossed the border into Guatemala successfully! We were sort of prepared for some minor hassling that you would expect at a border crossing, but ours was smooth. We walked over from El Salvador to Guatemala which really just means we took a truck to the El Salvador Frontier, got the stamps we needed and walked over two bridges. Once in Guatemala, we filled out our immigration papers and met my friend, Clarita, who picked us up. The funny part (to me) was walking alongside of all these tractor trailers parked on the road waiting to cross from Guatemala into El Salvador. We felt very small and a little odd to not be in a vehicle like everyone else. All in all, it went well! We met up with other mission teams that evening and participated in some activities with local teens. Over the past couple of days, we’ve taught some basic hygiene to missionaries so they can teach it to their communities. We went to San Antonio to see my former project from 2009. It was so awesome to be back in San Antonio and to see all the families I had become so close to during our project.   The kids are grown up, the parents look a little older (but so do I!) and the community has grown to 60 families. Two hours passed quickly.  I will be returning there again on Sunday so I wasn’t too sad leaving. We are working in Coyolate and I’ll be sending an update about the water filters at the end of the week!   To send a message to Caitlin, visit:

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Filed under El Salvador

Where there is coffee, there is life!


All is well in La Cumbre, El Salvador. We have enjoyed spending time with the community. I checked the water tanks and pipes and the system is functioning but they are in the middle of a little drought and the water is coming out of the spring very slowly. Jen taught the kids a fun game to play during recess at the school up here.  I am not a coffee drinker at home, but it is rude to refuse anything presented (even if you don’t usually eat/drink it) in these communities. With that said, I really hope I don’t return to the States addicted to coffee, because I drank more here then anywhere else abroad or home.  😉 Jen and I taught a hygiene class to the women of the community. The class went really well and the next day, before lunch, the lady serving us went and washed her hands at the Tippy Tap before serving the food. She commented that she learned that from class!

To send a message to Caitlin, visit:

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Filed under El Salvador

Walk the project with me!

Hello Everyone!

I have been home for a week now and it has been great. I am clean, rested, stuffed with yummy food and already packing for the next trip! I leave early tomorrow morning for the second phase of the Haiti Goat project. We will be providing more goats to the students in Marbial and training students and community members in livestock care.

I will have to talk more about that later, because I still have much to share about El Salvador! Here is a video of the entire project site. The video will be nice for those of you interested in seeing the finished tanks, piping and faucets.

If you want details, keep reading – although it might be boring so you can just skip to the two pictures at the bottom if you want 😉

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Filed under El Salvador, Hydromissions

“Good morning” “Good morning”

I am home!

I have many photos and videos from my 7-week project in the mountains of El Salvador, so I am sharing a small sample so you can see the finished project and a couple cute videos that show the results of my hygiene and english classes in La Cumbre.

English Class with Christina

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Filed under El Salvador, Hydromissions