Jeff Cardwell discusses 20-plus years of serving in El Salvador and seeds of progress sown in the country
Jeff Cardwell made his name in the hardware and lumber business in Indiana, but he may be better known today as a servant leader — which includes his service as Founder and President of The People Helping People Network and as Chairman of The Fuller Center for Housing’s Board of Directors.
However, he may be as well known in El Salvador as he is in Indiana, having made countless trips to the country after falling in love with the land and its people more than two decades ago.
He sat down — via Zoom — with us on Wednesday to talk about the trip he made to El Salvador earlier this month, the work of both People Helping People and The Fuller Center in the nation and his hopes for the country as it moves forward. Among other things in this fascinating discussion, Cardwell talks about:
- his love for El Salvador began as a chaperone on his then-11-year-old daughter Sara’s church service trip in June of 2000 — a trip he resisted “kicking and screaming” because he thought it was bad timing for his business
- touring Fuller Center homes and construction sites, including visiting families now living in beautiful homes on a site that was just an empty field a little more than a year ago
- People Helping People’s HOPE Equation and how its holistic focus on Housing, Hunger, Health and Education is exemplified in its thriving new Center for Hope that he got to visit this month
- what his friend, El Salvador’s new Housing Minister Michelle Sol, requested The Fuller Center do “263 more times”
- how immigration is an issue best addressed at its source — in the nations where people would rather stay if they had hope
- the “incredible” way inmate labor is being used on Fuller Center sites and how it helps them prepare for a productive life after prison
- El Salvador’s focus on boosting its promising tourism industry — including its status as a surfing mecca with “Surf City”
- why El Salvador may be the Central American nation best suited for American companies to invest and trade … and much more: