Saturday, August 22, 2009


So it has been three weeks since we posted our first entry, but from here on out a bi-weekly post can be expected. Every other weekend or so, we will keep you updated on our shenanigans here in hot and dusty El Paso.

It has been an eventful past few weeks. Our road trip from Minneapolis to Houston was long, but fun, and long. We received great hospitality in Kansas City from Jeff and Michelle, and Chris also got to catch up with his former roommate Alex, who also lives in KC.

Next, we stayed at a beautiful and peaceful retreat center outside of Hot-Hot-Houston for about a week. There we learned and discussed what our year will look like. We also learned what it means to be a Jesuit, how they live, pray, commune, as well as what they eat for breakfast and what they smell like.

From there we hauled arse across Texas and arrived at our new home just outside of downtown El Paso; 1522 E Yandell Dr El Paso TX 79902 to be exact. Our first two days were spent being oriented to the city and our job placements by our very helpful support people, as well as being fed meals big enough to necessitate a long nap and various methods of pressure release.

Chris is feeling very welcomed at Sacred Heart Church, especially by his goofy and wonderful supervisor, Brother Pete. Chris has his first few projects lined up already. The church purchases food from the West Texas Food Bank and distributes it to struggling members of the community each Friday. Chris participates in this and will be handling and spending some grant money to enhance this operation. Along with Meg, one of Chris and Leticia's housemates who also is serving at the church, Chris will start giving job skill workshops to unemployed members of the neighborhood. He is still learning his role and job description at the church, so more details to come. And he has his own office!

Leticia will be assisting mainly Hispanic individuals in their process of applying for legal residency and US citizenship. She is working on Project SHINE, which recruits local college students to teach free citizenship classes in exchange for college credit. She will be the intermediary between the University of Texas El Paso (UTEP) and the organizations that will be providing these free classes. Leti will also have the opportunity to teach conversational English and citizenship classes to adults a couple days a week. And she has her own office! And a cute pencil cup with flower prints! Oh my God!

Our new house is also very nice and accommodating. We are excited about doing some gardening and landscaping.

Looking forward to a non-existent winter. Ha ha suckers!

-Leticia & Chris

P.S. You thought we wouldn't mention it . . . but we are still in need of financial support (not applicable to those who have already donated to us). Also, the Donate Online link is now functioning properly (Sorry for the inconvenience). Thank you.


  1. "Ha ha suckers!" What a nice way to end the post. Lets me appreciate how this trip has already been life-changing. The spirituality and empathy towards others have such caring, gentle hearts...

    Yeah...right. Hahaha!

    I'm so excited about everything that is happening to you, guys. I'm sure this experience will be amazing. I love your heart and your passion towards the needy. You are a blessed couple. I love you guys.

    Have a wonderful time.

    P.S. I'm broke. :D
    But as soon as I get some money in my hands I'll be sure to send you some.
    500 sound good to you?

    Ok, I'm writing a check down...umm..Chris and Leticia Castellano...the amount of...500 cents...signed....Ericka Lugo.

    There. Now I'll just have to deposit the amount in the account and presto.

    No but, seriously, as soon as I get some washingtons I'll send you some. What? You want Jacksons?! Come on! I'm unemployed!
    Hahaha :P

    Love ya guys.