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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

La Represion

At some point, the repression has to be addressed. In 1980, over 600 women, children and men were slaughtered in this area. It is called the Sempul River Massacre and every teacher lost family members during this time. I asked the question during one if our sessions " how do you deal with the massacre." The answer turned into an hour and a half session where each teacher spoke of great loss. We are still trying to figure out how best to convey the feeling of that session. I don't know if we can do this. Several of the Salvadoran teachers broke down during the retelling of the stories. Two of the teachers could not say anything.
These stories are over 30 years old, but the pain exists. They all have nightmares, they sometimes flinch when a plane or helicopter flies by. In their dreams they see dead people. The mourn for the family members they have lost.
In El Salvador, family is everything. Cousins, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters are together all of the time to celebrate or just to be together. Maybe this is one of the reasons this is such a strong community. Everyone has lost their family, the community has become the family, they all share in the collective loss.
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