A pilgrimage for the 40th anniversary of Saint Óscar Romero’s martyrdom

Dates: March 20-25, 2020

Cost: $1,500.00

Registration deadline: December 21, 2019

The life and death of Saint Oscar Romero are powerful testimonies to God’s love and concern for the marginalized. Romero responds to a historical moment and cultural context, and his legacy challenges us to imagine new responses to today’s structural sin and oppression. But how do we confront the sin of the world that oppresses the crucified people today, especially in response to the Central American refugee crisis?

Human rights provide a framework for understanding violence and poverty, as well as guiding principles to respond to injustice. By ensuring the participation of every person, transparency of institutions, and equality in our efforts, we can transform our work and live out the mission of the church.


Join a pilgrimage with other religious leaders for the 40th anniversary of Romero’s martyrdom. Participate in the commemoration of the martyrdom of Saint Romero, visit local communities and historical sites, and meet with experts and community leaders. By responding to violence, displacement and forced migration through the lens of human rights, we can follow in the footsteps of San Romero.

What to expect:

  • Participate in the march, vigil and other activities commemorating Saint Romero’s life

  • Discuss the complex reality in Central America with local experts and community leaders

  • Deepen our understanding of a human rights framework to understand violence and injustice in Central America and the world

  • Apply a human rights approach to church ministries and Christian mission

Learn More

Find out more about this seminar or other programs we offer.

Registration Form

Register to participate in the pilgrimage.

Submit Payment

Submit your payment online, or send a check to our office.


Why human rights?

We believe every human being is inherently equal in rights and dignity. This belief in human rights provides both an ideal to strive for and a strategy for moving towards this ideal. The human rights framework provides us with a way of understanding conflict and poverty in the world as violations of human rights, rooted in inequality and discrimination. This framework also outlines an approach to responding to injustice by empowering people to participate in their own development and advocate for human rights.

What does the cost include?

Lodging, transportation during the seminar, three meals a day, coordination and logistics, interpretation and trip guide, workshop leaders and speakers, and activities in communities. The tuition also includes a contribution to the Central American participant scholarship fund.

The cost does NOT include: Additional food, beverages, souvenirs, alcohol, airfare, $10 tourist visa, or any activities outside of our planned itinerary.

When is my payment due? Are there payment plans available?

Unless otherwise noted, $500 dollars are due by the registration deadline to reserve your space, and the remaining amount is due 1 month (30 days) before the start date. If you are unable to make the payments by the deadlines, please email globalschool@cristosal.org to discuss payment plan options.

Travel: When should I arrive in El Salvador? Where does the seminar take place?

When arranging travel, plan to arrive on the first day of the trip and leave on the last day. Typically, we schedule an orientation the evening of the first day, but have no other programming on the first or last day. You are welcome to arrive early or leave late if you want to do activities outside of the seminar itinerary, and we can schedule extra nights in the guest house for an additional fee.

The activities typically take place in and around San Salvador, El Salvador. There is one commercial airport in El Salvador: the Oscar Arnulfo Romero Memorial Airport (SAL), so plan on arriving at and departing from that airport. Upon arrival, a taxi will pick you up from the airport and drive you to the guest house. The journey to the city usually takes 45 minutes, but may take longer depending on traffic.

What kind of accommodations will we stay in during the pilgrimage?

Your lodging in El Salvador will be simple, but clean, safe and with hot water and Wi-Fi. You will sleep in separate hotel rooms, and when possible, we can arrange for family members to stay together. In your registration form you can note any specific needs (medical, dietary or otherwise), and we will accommodate these needs as best we can. The pilgrimage may involve visits to rural and poor communities with very basic living conditions (i.e. outdoor toilets, no running water), and may require long walks or bus rides under high heat. The longest walk will probably be the commemorative march to the Cathedral, approximately 2.5 miles or 4 kilometers.

Are refunds available if I can’t attend the pilgrimage? What if Cristosal cancels the pilgrimage?

All participant cancellations and refund requests must be submitted in writing to Cristosal. Group cancellation notices and refund requests received prior to one month before trip departure will be issued a full refund. There is no refund for groups that cancel after one month prior to departure. Individual cancellation notices and refund requests received prior to one month before trip departure will be issued a full refund. There is no refund for participants who cancel less than thirty days prior to departure, unless the cancellation is due to family emergencies or medical reasons. In that case, Cristosal will work with the person to issue a partial refund or transfer the trip fee for up to one year. Cristosal reserves the right to cancel a trip for a safety or security reasons, and will attempt to make alternative arrangements for the trip before cancelation. If Cristosal cancels a trip, a total refund will be given.

Who can participate in the pilgrimage?

This trip is designed for religious leaders interested in developing a relationship with El Salvador and supporting human rights work in the region.

Do I need to speak Spanish to participate in a seminar?

There is no language requirement for participation. All courses include interpretation between English and Spanish as needed, and our methodology is designed to foster meaningful intercultural interactions across language barriers.

Why El Salvador?

Whether your interests lie in Latin America or elsewhere, El Salvador is a compelling setting in which to study human rights, community development, human mobility and migration, and violence and peacebuilding. Its recent tragic history of grave human rights violations, and inspiring resistance and progress toward greater freedom are powerful testimonies to our ability to effect social change and serve as models to look at human rights challenges in our world today. Located at the center of the American continents, El Salvador is a global crossroads, offering a unique perspective on how our interconnectedness and global relationships affect vulnerable populations.

Is El Salvador safe for foreign travelers?

Cristosal has 15 years of experience safely hosting groups of North Americans in El Salvador. Most people find El Salvador to be a beautiful country and Salvadorans to be inspiring and extraordinarily welcoming hosts. We do ask that participants abide by Cristosal’s security guidelines, in order to reduce the risk that you would be affected by any type of crime or incident, including petty theft.

Check out our Safety and Health Guidelines for our recommendations on how to minimize your risk while in El Salvador and get the most out of your time with us.

What immunizations should I get before I come?

Before visiting El Salvador, have all routine vaccinations up-to-date. While we take substantial precautions to ensure all food and drink is healthy and uncontaminated, it may be a good idea to get Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccinations, though they aren't required. Risk of contracting malaria or rabies are relatively low in El Salvador, but the Center for Disease Control does recommend that some travelers get vaccinated. We recommend bringing bug spray and not playing with stray dogs in the street to reduce this risk as much as possible. See the Center for Disease Control's website for the most up-to-date and comprehensive information on vaccines.