32nd Anniversary of Archbishop Romero’s Assassination

Today is the 32nd anniversary of the assassinatio of Monsignor Romero. The common lectionary comes in cycles so I understand the following connection as an amazing coincidence, yet I can’t help but take some prayerful time to consider the lectionary’s gospel passage for this Sunday, March 25, 2012, contains John 12:24, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” This, I have learned, is the final piece of Scripture Monsignor Romero preached on March 24, 1980, in the sermon he gave right before he was shot dead through the heart.

Much fruit has been born of this man.

Viva Romero!


Click-thru to our El Salvador 2010 global trip blog posts.


One Reaction to Chiapas

Hello, dear reader!  I wanted to let you know about my new blog, in case you are interested in following along.

After returning from Chiapas, I was presented with an opportunity to act on what I had learned during our travels abroad.  Because of the realities we were faced with in Mexico, I was called to Phoenix to protest SB1070, the anti-immigration legislation that went into effect in Arizona on July 29th.  I found the practice of blogging very rewarding during our Chiapas trip, and so I decided to continue the practice as I roadtripped to Phoenix and back.

If you would like to start at the beginning of the trip, click here.

If you would like to start with the protests, click here.

If you would like to start with my memories of being in jail, click here.

And thank you all for visiting this blog, for reading, and for your company on the journey.  It means a lot to us.

Much love to all of you,


A UTS student writes about his travels to Mongolia.

This past July, UTS student Karl Jones and his wife traveled to Mongolia for three weeks as part of his UTS independent study global justice course. Karl traveled amongst the people with a mind to learn about their history and the impact of international banking and corporations on the country today, particularly the impact on the poor. Inspired to share his experiences with friends, family, and other interested readers back home, Karl wrote a journal during his travels and started turning it into a blog this week.

You’re invited to read Karl’s blog and learn about his powerful experience. I’ve added his blog to our blogroll in the sidebar and don’t forget: subscribing to his blog via RSS feed is easy.

Update: Karl has lent us more context on his blog in this post’s comments section.


We’re back! And more to come on this blog soon.

We’re back, safe and sound, and while I haven’t posted about Friday’s travels yet (I got plenty of sleep last night!), I want to leave a quick note about what to expect on this blog over the next few days:

  • A post about El Salvador Day 09.
  • Photos added to Days 05-09.
  • What it’s like to be back in the US after experiencing the marginalized and grossly underprivileged.
  • Small tweaks to posts made by me to add more details.
  • Comments posted by others who went on the trip, lending their own stories, memories, and emotional takes on our travels.
  • Posts about post-trip reading from a post-trip perspective.
  • Information about our upcoming auction/fundraiser.
  • The winner of our Globalization contest.
  • And when that’s all over, it’s time for posts about the upcoming Chiapas trip.

So sit tight, dear reader, and stay tuned. I’ll have plenty of new writing and photos for you soon.


Contest: Globalization at What Price?

Hey, gang. Nate here with an important informational message. I’ve decided to run a little contest here similar to my other blog about writing and creativity, The Scrawl (shameless plug, I know). Here’s the scoop…

One of our greatest struggles in returning home from the trip is how we will choose to actively help the Salvadorian pepole. One way we can do this is to help stop the unfortunate side effects of globalization and we need your help. Submit a comment on this post explaining one tangible way you can do your part to help put a stop to globalization. If you don’t know what I mean, take a look at my thoughts on reading the book Globalization at What Price? by Pamela K. Brubaker for some insight. It can be very small, very simple. Big movements begin with the tiniest steps. Don’t worry about being profound, just be practical. For example, maybe you’ll only buy fair trade coffee or be more selective in which stores you shop because they offer clothing not made by international sweatshop labor, or perhaps you’ll turn off the water while you’re in the shower when you lather. All of these things are tiny ways you can make a conscious decision to not let your US privilege come at the price of another’s life.

To enter, make your comment any time between now, 03.23.2010, and 11:59pm CST on the day of our return, 03.26.2010. While we appreciate your comments anywhere on our blog, only comments left on this post will be considered as an entry. And to sweeten the pot, so long as your comments are real ideas about what you can do to stop globalization (i.e. you’re not just typing gibberish to stuff the ballot box) you can enter as many times as you want. One lucky winner will be randomly selected to receive a free copy of Globalization at What Cost?

Whether you’re interested in the book or not I hope you’ll post a comment to spread ideas to others. The next step is harder but even more important – ACT UPON YOUR IDEA.

The contest is open, please comment away!


A handy tour of blog features.

New to reading blogs? Here are a few tips for you to help navigate ours:

1. Never Miss a Post When You Subscribe.

Bloggers love it when their readers subscribe, it’s like a badge of honor. To know someone not only is reading but wants to read whenever possible is grand and can help keep the writer going. We recommend you try the RSS feed (don’t know what that is? In Plain English has a great three-minute video all about why it’s a wonderful thing). If that’s simply too foreign for you right now, we have an email subscription option in our sidebar.

Real quick: notice there’s a link to subscribe to posts and a link to subscribe to comments. We encourage regular readers to subscribe to the posts for sure and it’s up to you if you want updates on when we receive comments. We only point it out to accentuate the difference and make sure you’re subscribing to what you want.

2. Know How Our Blog Layout Works.

At the time of this writing, our blog is organized in the following way:

  • Posts – Individual pieces of writing revolving around a particular topic. Usually, it’s about a day or event on a trip or an announcement about this blog.
  • Tags – These are prominent subjects and themes the writer has deemed important enough to “tag” in the post. You can click these tags, like subject labels in a library, and see other posts with the same tags. Your other option to find similar subjects is to use our “search” bar.
  • Top Menu Bar – Look here for information on our trips overall, our current trip, our upcoming trip, and past trips.
  • Search Bar – This is in our top menu bar, too. It’s a great way to look for specific entries and remember to use -minus or “quotes” to make your search even better. Don’t know what we mean? Again, In Plain English comes to the rescue.
  • Sidebar – On the right-hand side you’ll find our email subscription option, our post archives organized by trip, links to recent posts, links to affiliated websites, and other subscription options.
  • Body – On the left-hand side you’ll find all of our individual posts. In your RSS reader or links to specific posts, you’ll only see one post. Click our header, UTS Global Trips, to see all of the posts together.

You may see some posts that say “continue reading.” This is a link that breaks up a post which is really long so readers can scroll through posts with a little more ease. Test it out: Continue reading

Welcome to our experiment.

Thank you for reading our new blog for UTS global trips, an experiment in better communication and positive evangelism. We appreciate your readership and encourage your subscription. You can subscribe through our RSS feed (learn about RSS here) or to our email newsletter (see the sidebar). Your comments are always welcome, it is what keeps the conversation going! We will never sell your information or email address to anyone, period.

We’ve created this blog for three reasons:

1. This blog is a record. Those who go on our global trips will be able to reflect on their experiences later in life through the words and photos posted here.
2. This blog is about communication. Trip-goers now have the opportunity to immediately communicate their experiences to loved ones back home (and to receive their comments in return).
3. This blog is evangelism. We hope UTS students will read this blog and be inspired to join us on future trips because they have a better understanding of the potential our global trips have to change their lives.

Thank you for reading,

Chris Smith – Professor, United Theological Seminary
Nathan Melcher – Student, United Theological Seminary