My heart aches to have returned to U.S. soil. So here, in the comforts of Houston, TX, I close my eyes and I imagine El Espino. I feel the thick, humid air hydrating my every pore viagra england. I hear the jungle leaves gently blowing in the breeze. I see the bright, glowing smiles of the locals as they kindly look into my eyes. I picture my sisters Vanessa and Stephanie giggling as I attempt to teach them to play “Go Fish.” Roosters, turkeys, chickens, cats, and dogs meander the grounds. People speak to me in rapid Spanish and I listen in desperation to understand them. I sense the spirituality floating through the atmosphere and I drink up every bit of it.

Memories of the past week are evident everywhere. The pink bug bites covering my legs, the fading sketch of Izote, the national flower, drawn by Celso on my shoulder, the handmade cards given to me inexplicably by adoring children, the amazing group of people that shared this experience with me, and the heavy feeling in my heart.

I don’t know how to express all that I’ve learned or all that I’ve felt for El Salvador. I don’t think that it’s possible. I can show some of the many photographs that we took on this magnificent journey, tell some of the heart-warming stories of our powerful experiences, or describe some of the beautiful people whose memories are forever imprinted on my soul, but the feeling of standing in the humid air, looking out at the jungle filled with humble homes and big hearts, that I can only share with the people who were there with me. The group arrives back in Grand Junction tomorrow. It’s the same place we were nine days ago, but none of us are the same.

Never in my life have I received so much love from people whom I didn’t even know. I am in awe of their hospitality, strength of spirit, and endless beauty. I’m so grateful for my time spent with them. I truly hope to return to see them again as I now feel we are family. I want to say thank you to everyone who supports the Foundation for Cultural Exchange, all who helped send me off on this amazing journey, the group that shared it with me, and most of all, the people of El Espino. Gracias por todo lo que ustedes me dieron. You are forever in my heart.