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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Idea for this summer - 20 years after the Peace Accords

I was reading Tim's Blog a few days ago and I noted that this is the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords.  I started to think that this might be a great year to visit El Salvador to talk to people about what has changed in the past twenty years.

I know a great deal has changed throughout the country, but I want to hear more of the stories.  I heard alot last summer from the teachers in the community.  So many stories about escaping the soldiers as they swept into communities in Chalatenango.  Stories also about a rebirth in these communities as they regained control of their land and homes.

The stories of rebirth are the best.  The commitment of people to reestablishing a sense of dignity and security are humbling.  We talked to teachers whose commitment to the education of the new generation was a way to push back the darkness and horror of a terrible war waged against the citizens of El Salvador.

Now, what would it be like if I brought writers and filmmakers to come to El Salvador to record these stories? I am sure this has been done before, but we are looking now at twenty years of peace - this is a good time to do more of this work - there are many stories of quiet courage that need to be heard by all of us.

Next, we go led by grassroots groups like CRIPDES and CORDES, two key organizations that have played fundamental roles in the recover that has taken place over the past decades.  Let them determine where we need to go and what stories we need to hear.

Maybe this is what the next Compadres trip needs to be all about - seeking out the stories of courage and developing a record to share with those who need to know what inhumanity looks and feels like.