Members of St. Mary’s Kerrisdale on an earlier visit to El Salvador.
El Salvador will have two groups of Anglicans visiting next March from the diocese-youth for Confirmation instruction, and adults to watch over what promises to be a closely fought presidential election in the Central American nation.

The trips are being organized by St. Mary's Kerrisdale. All will travel to San Salvador on March 12 and return March 22.

The youth will go to El Maizal, a retreat facility run by the country's Anglican Church near the Pacific Ocean, for a one-week intensive preparation for Confirmation. Visits are planned to the church where Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated while celebrating the Holy Eucharist-which symbolizes the liberating role Christian faith has played in this politically troubled nation.

Under the auspices of the Cristosal Foundation and the Anglican Church of El Salvador, the adults will serve as registered election observers. The presidential election in the country of about 7 million is scheduled for March 15.

Presidential elections take place in El Salvador every five years. The current party in power, the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) is being challenged by the left of centre Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front Party (FMLN).


El Salvadorian children

In 2004, the conservatives won with 58 per cent of the vote, but polls released have put the FMLN about six points ahead. Mauricio Funes, former CNN television journalist, is running for the FMLN, and Rodrigo Avila, a former police chief, for ARENA.


Diocesan youth in Grade 8 and up are welcome to participate in this Confirmation preparation, space permitting. They must have the consent of their parents or guardians, a letter of permission from their parish priest, and the necessary inoculations. Deadline for applications is Nov. 30. For more information, please contact the Rev. Kelly Duncan at The all-inclusive cost (except pocket money) is $2,200 per person.