SSC Human Resources Manager Peggy Cruse and Scholarship Recipient Leslie Izaguirre

Since 2016 SSC and Weathermatic have had a ongoing partnership upgrading the irrigation systems on many of the A&M system campuses. Through this partnership an annual service trip has been created offering 6 scholarships to students at various campuses to travel with Living Water International to Central America and help bring clean drinking water to areas with great need.

The 2019 scholarship recipients were Farid Abarca, Cindy Figueroa, and Aneida Valdez of Texas A&M University, Joyce Garza, Marina Garza and Leslie Izaguirre of Texas A&M International University. As a continuation of the story from our July 21-27 El Salvador trip, we are including a reflection shared by Texas A&M International scholarship recipient Leslie Izaguirre.

“As I conclude this wonderful experience at El Salvador, I feel so fulfilled and so grateful to have been part of this amazing opportunity. No words can describe how the country of El Salvador gave me more than a straightforward experience abroad. I am so lucky to have met the people I met and worked with. I would like to sincerely thank Living Water International, SSC for Education and Weathermatic for providing students like me this incomparable opportunity to venture out on a mission trip. Not everyone has the resources to travel outside their city limits. Therefore, it is through this valuable scholarship opportunities that students like me are able to truly engage in authentic ways to learn and interact with people from different cultures around the world. The communities of El Salvador taught me that the biggest treasure a person can withhold is in heart. No language, nationality, gender, age or race can impede an exchange of love and support between people. I am so amazed by the fact that each one of the members from the communities contribute to the progress and wellbeing of each other on a daily basis. There are no sentiments of envy or malice between them. In fact, the communities work together as a whole to watch each other’s back and support each other through rough times. They keep pushing harder to suit their basic needs and provide children with proper schooling and a strategic child development. In conclusion, this program is very well structured. The only thing I would like to suggest is that during the afternoon meetings with the parents, a qualified person guides them to push their maximum potential. To illustrate, in addition to teaching them about hygiene, a person should teach the parents a skill that they can later on use as an occupation. For example, there was an instance where our hygiene coordinator taught the parents to do some handmade keychains with lace and jewelry beads. After learning this technique, the parents can make some themselves and sell them to bring home some extra cash. The overall purpose of this is to prevent parents and children from participating on illicit activities to sustain themselves.”

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