Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 4 Photos: A challenging, beautiful, and distressing day

Monday, 9-13-2010

I stole Lynn's pancake syrup and hid it.
Cecilia promptly put devil horns on me.

Mmmm, tea

On the road to La Quesera

Another "puddle" in the road

Watery roads are common during the rainy season

This wasn't even the part of the road that we were comcerned about

Mini lake

Crossing the river/stream

We made it across!

The Rio Lempa

The largest river in El Salvador

Site of one of the massacres in the La Quesera area.
Marta told us her story here.

The La Quesera Massacre, which took place between October 20-24 1981, was part of the Salvadoran government’s Tierra Arrasada (Scorched Earth) policy. Besides committing widespread acts of rape and torture, the army burned everything to the ground: crops, homes, animals, and people. The government initiated the policy, inspired by their US sponsors, as a means to uproot popular dissent.

This site, where Marta told us her story, is a legally recognized massacre site. A local priest in the area has the names of everyone who is buried there. Every year on December 28 people gather at this spot to have a mass, hear testimony, and remember what happened.

In this area they found 50 people dead, murdered. Mostly children, women, and older people. The bodies were buried here.

Marta was 11 when the Civil War began in 1980

Marta explained the mural on the wall. On the left are skeletons, bombs, helicopters, shallow graves, and the underworld. This represents the time of war. It is the Kingdom of Death created by selfishness. In the middle is Monsignor Oscar Romero, El Salvador’s most famous and most loved martyr who was assassinated during the war. He represents the voice of the people without a voice. The rainbow by him represents the hope of the people for a just life. On the right is a sun, a new community, and a river with fish. This is the Kingdom of God. 

There were at least 6 massacres in the La Quesera area and others not far from there. 617 people died in those massacres; mostly women and children. There are probably many others that no one knows about.

The dove-shaped roof above the mural represents peace for all.

Buying pan dulce for lunch

Going across another river

Miguel washing his hands off before lunch

Jumping out to meet us in the water

Checking out the river


They were beautiful

Inspecting the butterflies. I'm not sure why they were congregating there.

Looking back toward the truck

Eating lunch by the river

Tasty, tasty

Cecilia walking in the river

The water felt nice

Marta told us about how she used to bathe and wash clothes here

Blanca is helping me wash mud off my pants

Searching for rocks

Blanca found a good one!

The truck got stuck in deep mud

Trying to put pieces of wood under the tires for traction

Lots of squishy mud

We were in pretty deep

Getting ready

Myself, Miguel, Otilia, and Cecilia pushing the truck out of the mud

We did it!!!

Making our way back to the truck

Dirty feet!

Driving back to Berlín

The retaining wall in San Francisco

I tried to wash my feet off a bit when we got back

Cecilia toes!

That's attractive

Exhausted after a long day

Two turtle friends!

Taking a little bath

Alejandro teaching us how to de-kernel the corn

After a while, he told us, you get calluses on your hands

Lizard friends

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