Salvadoran social-justice activists find outlet for convictions in service to Sisters of Providence
Since 2000, Anibal Castro and his wife Transito have provided invaluable services in San Salvador as Providence Associates.
Aside from working with the sisters in the countryside and training others to become Providence Associates, Anibal serves as administrator of a six-parish program for downtown gang prevention and treatment.
Transito, a parts salesperson for Toyota, assists Anibal in his ministry.
Among those they have trained as associates are Miguel, a project coordinator with Project Care; Mario, Transito’s administrative assistant in the gang treatment program; Mario’s wife Ana-Mercedes, a bank clerk; and Walter, a distribution coordinator at a factory warehouse.
Youth ministry activism ignited by civil war
During the civil war in the mid-’80s, the group of friends were involved in social-justice issues as members of a youth ministry. As the war intensified, their meetings ceased. A few years ago, they gathered for the funeral of a friend and decided to renew their commitment.
Since then, they have met regularly. Calling themselves “Romeristas,” after their hero, the martyr Oscar Romero, they evangelize and teach youth of his legacy.
Being Providence Associates fits well with the role of a Romerista, they believe, as Romero is their model of a prophetic voice to the poor, while Emilie Gamelin is their model for prophetic action with the poor.
“Our role as Providence Associates,” says Anibal, “is to help the poor be all they are meant to be.”