Having the opportunity to go on our mission trip to El Salvador was life changing. We arrived in the late afternoon at the mission of Castillo Del Rey and were welcomed with open arms. We then all gathered our belongings, set up our rooms, and took a tour of this incredibly beautiful locale. Castillo Del Rey sits in a volcano, with a lake in the center. After the tour we headed off to dinner and a debriefing of our schedule for the week. The first day we headed off to the market, packed food bags, and learned about the culture of the Salvadorian people.

Our second day was spent at the clinic on site, which was amazing. The facility consisted of a pharmacy, storage areas full of medicine and medical supplies, a waiting area, surgery room, dentist office, and a record room. I found it astonishing that the entire facility was supported by donations. While working in the clinic, groups of us were moved between 3 different areas. While in the storage area we made hygiene packets (toothpaste, body wash, cream, etc.) to bring to our patients during house visits and organized the whole storage area to make materials more accessible. After working in the storage area my group was switched over to triage where we took vitals and charted all the new medical information. Pharmacy was the last stop for my group where we repackaged medications, located medications for prescriptions, and packed medications to bring up the mountain during our home visits. The clinic day was one of my favorites.

Our 3rd and 4th day we headed up into the mountains and went from house to house with medications, candy and toys. Seeing how much of an impact we made on our patients was astounding. Just taking their vitals and making sure they were taking the proper medications for their illnesses makes such a huge difference to their health. Towards the end of our stay, we spent time with the missionary students, getting to know them and their reasons for choosing a life of missionary work.

This trip truly changed my priorities and perspectives.  I was raised to maintain a grateful heart, but now have even further reason to appreciate all the gifts in my life.