Saturday, March 19, 2011
We Have Arrived!
To friends and family reading this blog- as of 6:15 El Salvador time (5:15 CA) we arrived in San Salvador in one piece, with all of our luggage and only missing a few hours of sleep. Luckily we were able to make this up as we waited for the rest of our friends from South Bay Covenant to arrive (minus Karen, we miss you!). We then had orientation and the opportunity to all get to know each other better and learn about all of the exciting things in store for us this week.
The big event of the day was the 3 mile walk de la Plaza El Salvador del Mundo hasta la Cathedral. Starting out with about a few hundred, by the end it felt like hundreds. We embarked on our walk as the sun set along with men, women, girls and boys of all ages. A few of us fell in love with two small girls carrying signs of Romero walking beside us. The range in ages represented stood out strongly to me; all individuals present seemed genuinely passionate about being there. As the night darkened, teens began chants and games, ducking and running. The adults joined in as well, however, yelling "Romero vive, la luche sige sige" with as much gusto as the youngsters. Across the generations families, friends and fellow countrymen walked together. The passion of the youth, who were either very young or not yet born when the civil war ended in 1992, particularly struck me. They care immensely about something that they never experienced; they may homage to a man they never saw or heard in real time. As the US continues wars abroad and the legacy of Vietnam fades, I feel like we as a country are missing something that El Salvador possesses: the imprinted memory in their hearts and minds of the struggles and triumphs that either they or their ancestors experienced. I get the sense that this march will continue in strength and power throughout the generations, preserving a crucial part of the Salvadorian identity and soul.
- Hannah R.