Sunday, August 08, 2010
We hurried to Morazan so we could see the last day of a week-long holiday. We spent the morning doing fun activities such as visiting the outdoor market, the Governor’s office, the Catholic Church, city neighborhoods, and a youth center. We then traveled north to a region that has been branded by the Ministry of Tourism as the Peace Route. Here we visited the Museum of the Revolution, a privately owned museum run by a group affiliated with the FMLN, the former guerrilla group and now a political party. There we saw many artifacts that gave us insights into what it was like for the guerillas and members of the community that resided in this guerilla stronghold. We learned about the causes of the war, some of the key players, saw posters from the international solidarity campaign, and weapons of war. We ran into the Vice President of the Salvadoran General Assembly who is good friends with our Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez.
During lunch we had a very happy family reunion. One of the teens traveling with the “Community Bridges” group was reunited with her parents and family whom she had not seen in over 3 years. They took her to her hometown where she spent the day celebrating with her family. In another “it’s a small world” moment it turns out she also happens to be related to our guide Fredis Pereira.
We had learned much about the war in our morning at the museum but we were in no way prepared for what lay ahead. In el Mozote, a nearby village, we learned details of how a U.S.-trained elite group of the Salvadoran armed forces massacred an entire village in a scorched earth campaign. One woman, Rufina Amaya, lived to tell the story of el Mozote and the horrendous details of that day in 1981 left many of us in tears. While what we learned in el Mozote was deeply disturbing, we came out of that experience feeling that all of humanity needs to come see this place for themselves so that the slogan Mozote, “Nunca Mas/ Never Again” can become a reality.
Members of the Sister Cities delegation in the town center of the departmental capital of Morazan, San Francisco Gotera.
Vice President of the Legislative Assembly Sigfrido Reyes (second from left) at the Museum of the Revolution in Perquin
Posters in Museum of the Revolution, Perquin, Morazan.
Edith Bonilla, Community Bridges youth travelling with the Sister Cities group, is reunited with her parents and family in Perquin, Morazan.
Evelyn Gonzalez and Community Bridges youth and staff lighting candles in front of the memorial that names the people murdered in el Mozote.
Mayor and Council of Gotera with representatives of Community Bridges.
POSTED AT: 11:00:00 PM