Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Journey to Morazán

Monday, 7-4-11

Today the delegation was traveling to the department of Morazán to see El Mozote massacre site and the guerilla museum and encampment in Perquin. Though I’ve been to these places before I really wanted to go because several of the delegates are new and I wanted to hear what their thoughts were about everything. Their enthusiasm excited me and I wanted to share the experience with them. This was my fifth trip to El Mozote and Perquin. My first trip was in 2009. I went for a second time in 2010. And I’ve been there twice already this year, once with Trinity Presbyterian in February and once with my family in May.

I’ve already written twice this year about the massacre at El Mozote and the guerilla museum and encampment. For that reason I’m not going to repeat myself in this blog. Here is a very short synopsis of the massacre in El Mozote: “The El Mozote Massacre took place in and around the village of El Mozote, in Morazán department, El Salvador, on December 11, 1981, when Salvadoran armed forces trained by the United States military killed 2000 civilians in an anti-guerrilla campaign during the Salvadoran Civil War. As news of the massacre slowly emerged, the Reagan administration in the United States attempted to dismiss it because of its reflection of the human rights abuses of the Salvadoran government, which the US was supporting with large amounts of military aid.”

Even though I’m not posting the entire story here I do want to post some pictures that I took today. There’s always something that captures my eye when I visit these places.

Fun in the microbus

At the new church in El Mozote

In the children's garden

Names of children who died. At the bottom are the
names of two children whose ages are unknown

More names of children. Many of their names are
unknown and they are identified only as "Son of..."
or "Daughter of..." or "Grandchild of..."

Mirros in the children's garden

Now a little info about Perquin and the guerilla museum and encampment: Perquin was under guerilla control during the Civil War and was known as part of the “red zone”. The Museum of Salvadoran Revolution contains documents, articles, pictures, and artifacts that belonged to the guerillas during the Civil War. The museum was founded by ex-combatants and attempts to recount the experiences of the guerillas. The Campamento Guerrillero (guerilla encampment) was a former guerilla camp turned into an outside museum. This museum was also founded by ex-combatants.

The original star of the FMLN

Pointing to a land mine

A replica of a trench used by the guerillas

A tatu (underground place to hide)

Alejandro walking through the tatu

Going down

Will was very kind to carry Mary's water

He made it up!

There goes Mary across the first bridge

Here comes Billie

Go, Laura, go

Kathy's an old pro

Across goes Elizabeth

Jim follows close behind

Luis is saying, "Help me"

Will made it across fast

Ale goes one-handed

Mike is the last one across

Climbing up to the next bridge

Jim bounds across

There's Pedro

Another landmine

We ate lunch at our usual spot: Perkin Lenca restaurant. I love going to this restaurant. There’s always a lot of space and I always order the same food: steak and french fries. I order the steak because it’s not at all like the beef I usually get. Normally the “steak” we get is really well done and very tough. The steak at this restaurant is well done but it’s tender and flavorful. We all enjoyed our food when it came. Food always tastes better after being outside moving around. When lunch was over I bought some of my favorite cookies they have at the restaurant to take home with me. As we drove home I thought about the day. Though it’s never easy to be in El Mozote and Perquin and to think about what happened there I’m glad I went.

Pedro and Luis drawing a map at lunch.
Perhaps to find hidden treasure?


Beautiful sunflower

Calla lily growing outside the restaurant

There's a green spider on this flower

So many pretty flowers

**For the full story about El Mozote and the museum and encampment in Perquin I will refer you to my blog "Remembering the Civil War: El Mozote & Perquin" from May 30th, 2011.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Going to El Mozote was a really moving experience. It was hard to imagine something so horrible could happen in such a beautiful place. Perquin was really intereting it was fun to go across all the bridges. It was great to see the picture of Pedro and Luis. You'll have to say hi to them for me next time you see them.