Religion of Love

EMANA is not a religious experience. However, it will be a highly spiritual one.

(I will explain this statement, bear with me)

Whenever one of us thinks about religion, we think of  “GOD”, and then different thoughts flood our minds. Perhaps most of them are unanswered questions about the idea of a god. Philosophers are exceptionally skilled at developing those thoughts into more questions, hoping to reach a clear-cut conclusion, hoping to find peace in their hearts with questions of their mind.

In EMANA, we don’t believe religion is God, or that God is a religion. We believe in purpose, and if anything exists, then it has purpose of being.

To illustrate the point of purpose, try to imagine what happens when a baby is being formed after an sperm and and egg come together in a woman’s womb. Two different cells, of miniature size, come together carrying within them only a ‘genetic map’, the DNA, of what they are meant to become. Imagine the combined cell expanding and then splitting in half, then they continue to expand and multiply over and over again. As you picture this image, ask yourself how does each miniature cell knows ‘where does it belong?’ ‘what organ or body part is it meant to become?’. Of course the answer lies in the ‘genetic map’ carried within each of those billion cells. This is how one cell knows it’s meant to become a fingernail, and another knows it belongs in the eye.

As humans, we can see ourselves as ‘cells’ of the larger human-kind body, carrying a ‘genetic map’ within ourselves. This map is what we, in EMANA, call purpose. We believe every human being has something to contribute to the world, and it’s of good and not harm. Sadly, many people in the world are blinded from their purpose and/or don’t know how to interpret their map.

EMANA is a spiritual experience

We believe that our purpose can be revealed through love… unconditional love. In fact, EMANA is the practice of unconditional love, doing selfless acts of love to help people in need, without expecting anything in return.

It is EMANA’s goal and duty to assist the poor people of El Salvador and the world. We choose to act in good faith, with the shared belief that helping people not only fulfills a general humanitarian goal, but most importantly helps Us find our own purpose in life. This is not a theory, this is not something you can understand with your mind, this is the reason why EMANA exists in the first place.

During an EMANA experience one thing is for sure: you will be filled with joy and love. After participating in our projects, most of the time, participants return to their lives being changed and with a different worldview; their lives change for the better. Many factors add up to a positive experience, among them are cultural exposure, selfless intentions, and a group of amazing people to share a new culture though a selfless perspective.

Young people from El Salvador, United States, Canada, Brazil, and Germany have been part of EMANA so far, and all of them carry on their lives feeling connected to this project and always longing to return. Next, you can see the 7 values that we believe in:

values1

values2

 

1st Sustainable Development Conference – Tasajera 2012

I agree that “Sustainable Development Conference” sounds far beyond the possibilities of a 22 year old college student and his friends… BUT the truth is we can technically use this name because we successfully organized a 2 day event where a group of 30 people gathered and learned about Environmental issues, starting up a business, organic farming methods, hydroponics, and pursuing dreams and visions. Throughout the event art and creativity were fundamental aspects of our presentations and performance. The purpose of this conference was to educate and empower them with practical knowledge and resources.

Since the idea of organizing such event came to my mind, I knew our presentations ought to provide them with immediate and practical knowledge they could use in their daily lives. So when a team of speakers was finally assembled, I insisted that we needed to focus on the listeners, having this question always in mind: ” what piece of information can I give them that would make their lives better?” Thank God, people with a lot of knowledge and experience were so excited to be a part of this project and sacrifice some of their time and comfort to travel one and a half hours to Tasajera.

Through knowledge comes empowerment. If we believe there is a bright future for Tasajera, we must work according to a vision by following a plan. This is why Sustainable Development Conference – Tasajera 2012 was engineered to be the first of many events that aim to bring awareness to a comunity. Awareness of many things that they are deprived from, knowledge that for us may be considered “common”.

These were the presentations given by the guest speakers:

Wednesday 8/1

  • Starting a Green Business – Julio Cabrera (business manager)
  • Environmental Awareness – Daniel Teodoro (environmental science student)
  • Creative Consciousness – Claudio Kriegel & Carlos Escalante (psychology students)

Thursday 8/2

  • Organic Farming Methods – Javier Miranda (agro-industrial engineering student)
  • Hydroponics – Javier Miranda (agro-industrial engineering student)
  • Having Visions and Following Dreams – Mary Castillo (Economist)
  • Practical Marketing Techniques – Jose Mario Castillo (graphic designer)

We, the people of HUMEN believe empowerment also comes through art. By encouraging people to fearlessly explore their artistic abilities, they empower themselves with confidence and awareness of their own creative capacities. We are certain that the exposure to art is very important in the overall well being of a person. This is why during the conference we had several artistic performances including music, visual animations, poems, and a special ballet dance by Katherine Barton.

The event culminated with our team and the youth that attended coming together and painting a wall. The only rule of participation was to “paint whatever comes to mind, and do it freely with no inhibitions”. The result was a genuine masterpiece and people uncovering their creative talents. It was so rewarding to see some people I knew getting really excited while they were painting, some even wondered why they had never gottten together to do such an endevour before.

Aftermath. There are still many things yet to be processed, things that mostly lie inside each one of us that participated. Personally, this has been a life changing experience, and I know as I move forward the big picture will become clearer. The effects that this event, and the project so far, has had on the community of Tasajera are still to be discovered. But we feel very confident that our work there has been aligned with good intentions, compasion, integrity, friendship, service, truth, and love.

As for our team in the island (Francisco Funes, Jeremias Carmona, and Cristian Corvera), they are committed to this project. They are very hopeful to see a real change in their community, a change they have longed for years, and finally they can see a dim light at the end of the tunnel.. this is why we have committed our full support to this cause and we will not stop until we see the expected results.

I am thankful for all the people who have supported this effort, and I hope we continue working together with people that are willing to make a difference.

Deeply greatful,
Daniel Teodoro

Putting on The Roof

On Tuesday June 12th 4 of us took a trip to la isla tasajera ( Tasajera island) to build a protective structure for the hydroponics systems. Things were a little rough in the beginning because it was very difficult to get all of our supplies into our vehicle. Finally we got everything loaded and we were on our way. We arrived in the afternoon to the dock and were met by 2 people from the island who where going to help us with this project. Once we were on the island we unloaded all of our supplies and started talking about how we were going to build this protective structure.

This structure needed to be built to protect the plants growing in the hydroponic systems from the sun and rain. We Started the project by placing in the support posts while others of us fixed up the garden by supporting the tomato plants. Then once the support posts were in the ground we started on the roof. This was a little more challenging because we had to decide how we were going to get a slope to get the rain to drain off properly. Finally it was decided to just make the middle higher and having it drain off both sides.

Half the group worked on building the wood frame while the others took the time to unwind and cut the plastic into strips for the roof. Then by the time all of that was finished it was dark time so we decided to settle down and rest for the night. The next morning we got up early so we could to the beach and reward ourselves for the hard work we had accomplished the night before. We then came back to the work site because we had to accomplish the task of getting the plastic roof on.

We got the strips out and started placing them on the roof. Meanwhile 2 more people from the island joined us to help with the project. The first piece of plastic was cut to short and didn’t fit properly so we have to do a little rearranging of the plastic and finally we got the roof complete and our job there was done. We then had a little prayer session to thank God for allowing us to be there and help these people and for keeping us diligent in our work. We finished by saying our goodbyes and we were off back to San Salvador to plan and prepare for our next visit.