2014 Stanford Delegation

2014 Stanford Delegation
Stanford Delegation in the UCA Chapel

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Welcome to El Salvador with Defaced Cathedral

Dear Readers,

We are happy to report that we arrived in El Salvador without any delays or problems. The weather is relatively mild, in the mid 80s and delightfully cool at night in San Salvador. 

This evening we participated in the march in commemoration of Archbishop Romero. We had a great time walking with the people of El Salvador, talking to young and old alike. It seemed to me that there were more people participating this year than last year and it was more fun. They were mixing up the march by inserting waves of people crouching and then standing with our arms raised as the wave caught us. It was really fun. One placard quoted Romero: "Unless the church is the church of the poor, it is not the true church of Jesus."

When we got to the Cathedral which is where they have always concluded the march with a mass, the Cathedral was closed because war veterans have been occupying the Cathedral to protest a lack of access to their pension or benefits as veterans. But even worse than that was to see that the front of the Cathedral with the beautiful fresco had been totally removed. The story is that the local bishop of San Salvador is attempting to remove anything that might suggest support for Archbishop Romero and indigenous culture. It was removed between Christmas and new year when people were away or focused on other things. There has been a lot of criticism about it in the local press and it was actually a violation of law to remove something that was considered part of their cultural heritage. It is such an abomination that it left me speechless. It reminds me of the Taliban blowing up the Buddhas in Afghanistan. Compare the picture at right with the one from last year on the right margin.

We also met with Ernesto Garcia today and we had a good overview of the history of El Salvador since 1932 when the massacre of the indigenous people occurred. 

We are all very tired and most are already in bed and I'm using toothpicks to keep my eyes open right now.
Pace e bene,

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