Posted by: Douglas Bailey | November 14, 2010

Lunch and Sightseeing with Banesa

We headed off for lunch.


A chicken place.


We shoved all the menus and place mats out of the way for the now traditional game of memory.


Banesa asked if the game was destined for anyone in particular and although I had given it to Carlos to always have one on hand for tours, he graciously allowed me to give it to Banesa. How could you resist?


Then we were back in the van and off to the local tourist attraction.



Not some botanical garden although the flowers were nice enough.


The local Mayan ruins! (I thought they would be bigger). Having said that, the steps were really tall I had to wonder if the Mayans had really long legs.


It was a bit windy on site but thankfully we had some hats.


We had a walk around the ruins.


Banesa asked me what kind of ancient things we had in Australia and I explained that Australia and New Zealand are so ‘new’ that we don’t have ancient structures. I also have found it very difficult to tell the kids of any traditions that we have or what our traditional food is. I told the kids we that Kiwis and Aussies like meat pies but that’s as close as we got to traditional food.


We sat down out of the heat for a few minutes and talked about what Banesa wanted to be. She wants to be a professional, maybe a lawyer. Carlos told her about the Leadership Development Program (LDP) which Compassion has been running in some other countries and has recently started in El Salvador. Students with excellent grades can apply to a scholarship to university. Of 100 applicants each year only about 20 will get in. Compassion selects students they know will be faithful with the learning that is being entrusted to them. You can support a LDP student and encourage them through their time at university. Find out more on the Compassion website.


One day a Compassion sponsored child will grow up become President of their country. Will it be your child?




  1. looks like tazumal??? not big, but really nice — good size for a short visit, did you go through the museum???

    one of our girls was quite overcome with giggles when seh spotted a bust with a nose ring (it’s a really, really BIG nose ring) 🙂 fun memories

    • Yes, I’ve just checked google maps and that is where we were, Tazumal in Chalchuapa 🙂 We walked through the museum but I didn’t notice the nose ring. I spend my whole time in there trying to work out if the dates where BC or AD!

  2. we’ve been there several times — once with our children who are at a project just outside of Chalchuapa and then twice with Habitat for Humanity groups. We were building outside of Santa Ana (not far from Chalchuapa) and it was one of the afternoon culture excursions.

    • That reminds me… I need to find out more about Habitat for Humanity’s work in El Salvador. I think Carlos had mentioned one of his people/clients did some work with them. I might need to shape up and come and give them a hand on a project. Shall I just find their website and search for projects in El Salvador?

      • Habitat does a lot of work in El Salvador –we’ve gone with thrivent for Lutherans and their program (not limited to lutherans) — they have lots of trips and then the regular global village does too — go to HFH international website and find the global village page — to be honest, there are lots of people who come who are not “in shape” and some who are pretty old!! — there’s always work for many different levels — our first trip we did a lot of hauling rock, dirt, digging etc, but last June 90% of the owrk was painting. The schedule is not too arduous either — start at 8 — devotions first, so start around 8:30 or 8:45 with real work — break at 10 or 10:15, l(15-30 min), lunch at noon, afternooon break at 2:30 — but some days it’s to clean up and go on excursion, other days there are activities at the community — long days, still done by 4-4:30 — inbetween the breaks, are the 5 min. breaks for drinking water (they are very careful with us gringos) Even the first trip, there was easier work for people who couldn’t do the heavy stuff — the staff of Habitat ES is awesome, like Compassion staff, very caring, etc.

        we did the week with habitat, then visited the children — made a nice 2 week trip.

      • Thank you! I’m looking them up now. Two years from now, two of my girls turn 15 about three weeks apart from each other. It would be so nice to be there for both of those birthdays. So maybe in between I can get involved with HFH for a week or two.

  3. I guess you’ll have to go back to see the nose ring 🙂 — I am sure Banesa won’t mind!

  4. that would be fun 🙂 — we are hoping to go in Sept. 2011 for another Habitat/Compassion trip, if our trip leader is able to go then. If not, we may go in Dec. for the graduation. Our oldest Compassion child graduations from the program in Dec. 2011 — so we want to go before she leaves the program and see her once more.

    • I’d love to make it for graduations too. I wonder if they are always in December?

      • they have graduations in June and Dec. The children graduate whichever date falls prior to their 18th birthday. Our Ana will be 18 in June of 2012, so she graduates in Dec. 2011, cause unless the project makes a special request, they must exit before turning 18 in El Salvador (other countries the ages are different — anywhere from 16 to 21/22 [usually Africaa for older]) — the June graduation was the 22 or 23rd this year — we were actually on a visit the day it happened. They have 2 or 3 locations (now I can’t rmember) one in the east, San Salvador and I think one west

      • That’s good as long as the East, Central and West graduations are not on the same day! So I’m planning Sep 2012 visits and June 2015 for the first graduations. Mom don’t read this; I might need to move closer to El Salvador.

        Sent from my iPad

  5. oh bad news, the graduations are all on the same day — maybe they’ll work it out so all your kids graduation the same place for you!! they like sponsors who are attached to ES!!

    • Ok well I have time to think about that. It looks like I’ll have a girl in the East and West graduate at the same time. And I wouldn’t want to take them away from their friends.

  6. I have been thinking of taking Memory games as ice breakers/gifts when I go to Ecuador in May. After reading your posts, 2 games will definitely go in my suitcase! One for Bryan, one for Nayelli. 🙂 They will both be 6 by the time I get there.

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