The Notre Dame spirit of sisterhood, community and service came together in beautiful symmetry last week as athletes, cheerleaders, classmates and friends worked towards a common goal - providing financial support for a community thousands of miles away. Since 2005, this annual event has feautured games and fun, pitting the junior class against the seniors for some friendly flag football. For the first few years, proceeds supported Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Starting in 2009, the proceeds from the game tickets, t-shirt sales, raffle and food concessions have raised funds to support Notre Dame's sister community in Yancolo, El Salvador.
Yancolo is a community of about 200 families living in a small village in the Morazán province of El Salvador. A rural community isolated by mountains and dirt roads, Yancolo does not have running water or easy access to transportation and relies on subsistence farming to sustain the community. Through our fundraising efforts, Notre Dame has been able to provide financial aid to 8 -10 students in Yancolo per year. The funds help the young people in this rural part of El Salvador cover the additional costs of going to school – books, school supplies, transportation and school uniforms – all essential items that students need to continue their education. This year, Notre Dame is sponsoring 9 students from Yancolo, including 4 girls.
In addition to providing educational support, the donations sent to Yancolo help fund important community projects including the construction of two foot bridges that connect families cut off due to seasonal rains and a community center completed in 2014.