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Celebration of the 75th anniversary of the « Colegio San Luis »

28/06/2013: El Salvador - Photo gallery

The celebration of the 75th anniversary of the « Colegio San Luis », in Santa Ana, El Salvador, was held on Sunday 9 June. It began with a Mass of Thanksgiving for these 75 years and for the work of so many Brothers and teachers for the community of Santa Ana. After the mass, we remembered the history of the « Liceo San Luis ». Brothers Severiano, Eustasio Martínez, Feliciano Arroyo and Juan Antonio Sandoval spoke of their satisfying experiences during the years spent at the college, the first three as directors, Juan Antonio as a student. The Provincial and the Mayor in their turn also spoke.

Then the Brothers and other participants were invited to a festive meal.

PRE-MARIST STAGE AND MARIST BEGINNINGS

It was Mgr Santiago Ricardo Vilanova who founded the college in 1916. The establishment opened its doors on the present site of the diocesan seminary.

In 1922 the bishop made contact with Br Léon Lacombe, of Colombia, to obtain Brothers for Santa Ana. But it was only on 2 January 1938 that the Marist Brothers took direction of the « Liceo San Luis ». Br Anacleto Court was the first Marist director.

The beginnings were difficult because of misunderstandings and mistrust. There were even  violent demonstrations through the press and on the street.

Brothers, teachers, pupils and parents of families had the courage to unite forces in support of Marist education and pedagogy. They started with 23 pupils, but the educational style achieved a remarkable success in the public exams, and the school year finished with 70 pupils.

The Brothers encouraged the pupils very soon to take part in the sporting championships. Five years after its foundation, the college already counted 190 students who took third place in the official exams for the « bachillerato » (high school).

Br Teodosio Calvo having been appointed director, he took steps towards purchasing the property we now occupy.

THE CURRENT BUILDING

The current building dates from 1963. It was in 1966 that the former « San Luis » was transferred to the « Colonia San Luis ».

In the years 1970-1974, the library and language laboratory were erected, and the college became  mixed, a pioneer among the Marist establishments of Central America.

The new « Liceo San Luis » is situated at the top of the city ; it enjoys an agreeable climate and a panoramic view. Earthquakes have spared the building… The chapel seats 500 persons. The statue in the chapel was erected in 1999, year of the canonisation of Saint Marcellin Champagnat.

In 2000 the provincial authorities saw it necesary to enlarge the college and its installations.

In the current Marist history it would be necessary to  mention the computer room for the children of the « Kinder » and the « Prepa », and another room for projections. For 2017…, well ! some classrooms and other rooms are still to be completed.

_____________
Br Tomas Arroyo

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