Our Sister Parish has partnered with the people of Berlin, El Salvador, for more than 30 years.
OUR SISTER PARISH?
Our Sister Parish (OSP) is comprised of five groups of people. Two groups are in the United States (1-2) and the other three are in El Salvador (3-5):
The OSP Board of Directors oversees the functioning and financial support of the mission.
Partner Organizations (mostly churches in the Des Moines, Iowa, area) unite with individual Communities in El Salvador to build relationships and support their needs.
Individual Communities in the Berlín area unite with a Partner Organization in the United States.
The OSP Mission Co-Worker lives full-time in Berlín and acts as a liaison for the other 4 groups.
The Pastoral Team, a group of Salvadorans, works daily to carry out the work of OSP in the Communities.
1,2, 4 and 5 exist to support the Communities in 3.
THE PASTORAL TEAM OF BERLÍN.
The Pastoral Team's members are themselves residents of the area OSP supports. They work out of the "Pastoral House", a former residence in the town of Berlín that has been converted into the base of operations for the OSP mission. The Pastoral House is where the Mission Co-Worker lives and where delegations stay when visiting from the United States. Pastoral Team members spend most of their waking hours performing the work of the mission, with little to no pay. They organize and educate Community leaders, facilitate project requests, financially manage projects, fulfill the basic requests for health, education, food, and clothing that come to them every day and provide pastoral care to the people of the Berlin area. All projects supported by the U.S. Partner Organizations for their Partner Communities in El Salvador are coordinated through the Pastoral Team.
Jesús has been with the Pastoral Team since 1984.
Jesús works in the Catholic church in the town of Berlín and collaborates within the Pastoral Team for the bi-monthly community meetings. As a Delegate of the Word, he serves as a spiritual guide, as well as
supporting the work in the outlying communities.
Luis Balmore Guardado
Balmore has been with the Pastoral Team since 1985.
In addition to working with the Pastoral Team and being the Delegate of the Word for Caserio Alejandría, Balmore works in agriculture and coffee farming. He is also a very active volunteer in the Catholic Church in Berlin. He collaborates with the Pastoral Team's work carried out on behalf of the people in the surrounding rural communities.
Blanca Lidia Cruz de Guardado
Blanca has been with the Pastoral Team since 1993.
Blanca works with leadership in the OSP Partner Communities to organize and coordinate meetings, projects, and community education in the rural communities. She is often the primary spokesperson for the Pastoral Team. She helps Cecilia manage the accounting. Blanca also coordinates with the Don Justo Coffee with Dignity producers. She also contributes to the work on the farm that belongs to her family.
Cecilia del Rosario Coreas
Cecilia has been with the Pastoral Team since 2002.
Cecilia participates in the organization and execution of projects carried out by the Pastoral Team. She communicates regularly with the current interim Co-Worker in the U.S to facilitate projects and coordinate with the Partner Organizations in the Unite States. Cecilia is the primary accounting manager for funds related to OSP projects in the Partner Communities and for the operation of the Pastoral House.
Teresa Idalia Coreas
Idalia has been with the Pastoral Team since 2003.
Idalia currently works in the organization and different projects of the Pastoral Team. She manages the daily affairs of the Pastoral House and supports the infrastructure needs of delegations during their visits.
Ana Margarita Chicas
Margarita has been with the Pastoral Team since 2010.
Margarita collaborates on work that the Pastoral Team carries out in the rural communities. She manages the daily affairs of the Pastoral House and supports the infrastructure needs of delegations during their visits.
César Alejandro Coreas
Alejandro has been with the Pastoral Team since 2011.
Alejandro received an OSP Technical School scholarship after graduating from high school. He began collaborating with the Pastoral Team after completing his Auto Mechanic degree. Alejandro serves as a driver, handyman, and mechanic and participates in all aspects of the Team’s work.
Elmer Josué Coreas
Elmer has been with the Pastoral Team since 2019.
Elmer received an OSP Technical School scholarship after graduating from high school. He began collaborating with the Pastoral Team after completing his IT degree. Elmer creates various reports to keep the Partner Organizations in the United States informed. He acts as a driver and participates in other aspects of the Team’s work.
The OSP Mission Co-Worker is hired by the OSP Board of Directors. The Co-Worker lives full time in a small residence on grounds of the Pastoral House. The Co-Worker accompanies the Pastoral Team as they perform the work of the mission at the Pastoral House and out in the rural communities that OSP supports. The Co-Worker is the communication liaison between the OSP Board and Partner Organizations in the U.S. and the Pastoral Team and Partner Communities in El Salvador. The Co-Worker not only acts as a language translator, but also helps both sides understand and deal with cultural differences. The Co-Worker hosts and guides OSP delegations visiting from the United States. The Co-Worker also makes several trips back to the United States each year to itinerate and educate Americans about the realities of life in rural El Salvador.
OUR SISTER PARISH BOARD.
The OSP Board of Directors is the governing body of the Our Sister Parish, Inc. 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. They ensure that all activities carried out under the auspices of OSP adhere to the philosophies of the OSP mission. They ensure OSP stays financially solvent by holding fundraisers and soliciting donations. They hire the Mission Co-Worker and support him/her in addressing any issues that arise. They consult with the Pastoral Team to ensure that the needs and concerns of the communities in El Salvador are being addressed appropriately. They educate the U.S. public about the work of the mission. They support the Partner Organizations by assisting with delegation trips, promoting mission projects, and helping the Partner Organizations work together and share ideas and experiences. The Board is primarily made up of representatives from each of the Partner Organizations. All Board members are unpaid volunteers. The OSP Board has six elected officers.
Sue Burns and Mark McAdoo
Don Justo Coffee Coordinators
Co-Worker Search Committee
Partner Organization, location
Representative(s) on the OSP Board.
Ankeny Presbyterian Church, Ankeny
Canton El Corozal
Marcia McAdoo, Mark McAdoo
Art for El Salvador, Windsor Heights
Maria Howard, Niah Howard
Central Presbyterian Church, Des Moines
Pastoral House Infrastructure Support
Covenant Presbyterian Church, West Des Moines
Canton San Isidro
Des Moines Intentional Eucharistic Community, Des Moines
First Presbyterian Church, Dallas Center
Tina Greiman, Jim Howard
First United Presbyterian Church, Atlantic
Canton El Rescate
Heartland Presbyterian Church, Clive
Caseríos Centro/Cerna, Canton El Tablón
Kathy Bassett, LuAnn Smith
Presbytery of Long Island, New York
Canton Santa Cruz
Southwest Regional Partnership, southwest Iowa
Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Indianola
Caseríos Casa de Zinc and Casa de Zacate
Margaret Blair, Betty Dyer, Maurice Dyer, Renee Little
Westminster Presbyterian Church, Des Moines
Canton San Francisco, Caserios Los Yánez, Los Jimenez, Las Cruces, Los Rosales, El Cimarrón