Honoring the memory of four American missionaries murdered on a trip to El Salvador 32 years ago this week, a group of four representatives from White Plains-Sisters of the Divine Compassion have traveled to the country to participate in a conference honoring social justice.
Sisters of the Divine Compassion Carol Wagner, Maureen McMahon and Felicitas Russell, along with Divine Compassion finance officer Rebecca
Boivin, departed for El Salvador Thursday for the conference, which begins Friday.
The women will join 44 other representatives from The Delegation of Women Religious to stand in solidarity with the people of El Salvador. The women religious delegation has sent representatives to El Salvador every year since the 1980 murders of four churchwomen who were abducted, tortured and killed on a mission trip to the war-torn country.
The Delegation of Women Religios will be honored Friday, as will the memory of the women assassinated during a mission to help the country's poor.
"We are going to see where the sisters were murdered and where they are buried," said Boivin during an interview this week, "we are going to also see the work that has come out of their memory."
Although not nearly as dangerous as in the past, El Salvador continues to experience issues with women's rights and poverty. Organizations like the Delegation of Women Religious and the Share Foundation, which are sponsoring the trip, have contributed resources over the years to help. A scholarship will be introduced Friday supporting the education of women in the country.
"They are trying to stand in solidarity with the victims of the war and the violence and the massacres that were going on down there through funding to help the people of El Salvador," said Wagner. "And they've continued over the years."
The women from the Sisters of the Divine Compassion will stay in El Salvador until Dec. 6, when they return to White Plains, giving them the opportunity to experience life in El Salvador.
"I think just seeing the way of life that these people live," said Russel, adding that she has heard the country offers beautiful scenery and is now very welcoming to visitors.
But the trip will also be about paying respect. The anniversary of the four murders is Dec. 2 and tributes to honor the killings are planned.