Currently listening to Mumford & Sons on World Café.
~ ~ ~
It’s been a little while since my last post. I apologize for those who have been following consistently. We’re in El Salvador now. After a five hour drive from Antigua, Guatemala we pulled into our home for the next four weeks here in San Salvador, El Salvador. Here, we will be taking a course on Liberation Theologies together, and living in one house together. So far, living together has gone smoothly (knock on wood). It is only the end of the first week, and we have until October 20. In the past week we have begun our Liberation Theologies course, learned of the colorful history of El Salvador, and experienced the area near our house.
Liberation Theologies is taught by Sister Peggy, an expat from Jersey City, New Jersey who has been living here in El Salvador for twenty-six years. She is a woman with intensity and much energy. Her course is fast paced, and reading intensive.
The history of El Salvador is one of much American presence. Just as Guatemala, El Salvador had experienced a period of internal armed conflict. Guerilla forces were againt the government. Many were killed, others were disappeared, and others were massacred. The tragic events that plagued this nation for almost twelve years is still a vital aspect of their everyday life today. We visited the University of Central America, which is a prestigous Jesuit university in San Salvador, where during the armed conflict in 1980, six Jesuit priests were shot and killed along with a mother and daughter who was living on the campus at the time as well. The political involvement of the United States is something not taught in history class in the United States. Financial aid mounting to billions of dollars per day. The United States governement doing as much as possible to prevent the guerilla forces from winning the conflict. Today, El Salvador uses the U.S. Dollar as their currency. The city area of San Salvador can be described as American: Burger King, Wendy’s, HSBC Bank in the local mall. From western clothing to the American consumerism that exists in the largest mall in Central America, El Metro Centro, it is hard to not see the effect that the United States has had on El Salvador.
Despite this Americanism, the people of this country are beautiful and kind. Much like that of Guatemala. Lines at the grocery store and in the donut shop (two for one for the month of September—I have eaten my share of donuts since arriving) move slower than any line in the United States. Salvadorans always present themselves as clean-cut and well dressed. At heart, Salvadorans are Salvadoran, superficially, they’re forced to confront America each and every day.