In this article I consider the desires of participants in a particular sister-community relationship. I suggest that experiences of Illinois parishioners who have been visiting, and assisting, rural Salvadorans over the past 20 years may help us to understand both the possibilities and the limits of such encounters. I probe the limits by examining an incident that took place in July 2010. In thinking through my discomfort with a request for money, in the context of a larger history of global relationships and the ethics of such missions, I have come to believe that the disparities between the visitors and visited—economic, geographic, cultural, political—is not something to overcome. Rather, these differences are necessary for sister-community relationships.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-162
JournalMissiology: An International Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013


  • Catholic
  • Christian base community
  • El Salvador
  • inequality
  • money
  • poverty
  • medical mission
  • sister-community
  • volunteer tourism


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