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Friday, July 29, 2011

Compadres reflections - Setting Context

Over the next few weeks, I will be taking some time to reflect on some of the pictures I took while we were in El Salvador this year.  My first picture is from a section of monument to civilian casualities during the war.  I chose this as the first picture because visits to the memorial, the Jesuit University and the site of the murder of Oscar Romero are essential to setting a context for our visit.  I realize now that much of our trip is about setting context. 

We need to understand the struggle of Salvadorans before and during the war.  It is essential that we know that over 70,000 civilians were killed over a 14-year period.  This is still a nation where the injuries of this war go unresolved.  There was no 'truth and reconciliation' commission here.  As Miguel says, we can forgive, but never forget, but we can't forgive until we know who we must forgive.

As I reflect on how Compadres y Comadres will work in the future, I will remember always to set context.  What has happened here?  How does this have an impact on the present?  What will the future hold?

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