El Salvador Day 06 – The Grave of Father Grande and the Emotional Arena

So much to write, yet I have to be kind to myself and actually get some sleep. An unfortunate side effect of electing to be the trip blogger is that my nights are often early. I hope you’ll afford me this gift and perhaps upon our return, my traveling companions can fill in more details in the comments section, something which they’ll hopefully do throughout the blog in the days after our trip.

Also, if you haven’t seen the contest I’m running, look for the post called “Contest: Globalization at What Price?” for more information on how you can win a free book just by leaving us a comment.

And with that, on to today…

Traveler’s Truth II

Oh, I feel better. Now hear this, students considering coming on one of these trips: bring Cipro. When TDI strikes, it’s the best remedy, aside from eating a ton of bread and bananas. And if you’re not stricken with TDI, well as the French say, “C’est la vie.” Or as the El Salvadorians say, “Something in Spanish.”

On the Road (From La Palma)

Sorry, dear reader, but as much as I said I hoped I’d be awake and able to tell you all about the beautiful scenery, I indeed slept for much of the way. What time wasn’t spent sleeping was speaking with Professor Chris on the bus. She and I had a wonderful dialog about my future plans, the Church, camping ministry, and choosing kindness over cynicism. Close friends know what likely spurred that part of the conversation and perhaps I’ll have time this week to expound on it. It’s not a secret, I’m just too tired and it’s a tale that I feel is worth spending time crafting. I’ll just say that, for the past two months, Continue reading

El Salvador Day 02: Two Red Books on Holy Ground, the High Price of Immigration, and Meeting Jon Sobrino

We thank you so much for all of your comments, please keep them coming!

Today was a full day, an emotional day. Here’s the scoop, dear reader…

You know what’s weird? Hearing someone proclaim your native country to be an “imperial nation” to your face.

That’s what happened yesterday during our history of El Salvador presentation yesterday as Carlos explained how the US government has been culpable in Salvadorian oppression for decades and we heard a similar thought, in different words, today during our presentation from another man named Carlos who explained the two major problems in El Salvador, economics and violence. But let me step back for a moment because we witnessed profound images before we listened to this story.

The Red Books

Our first stop was at the University of Central America where we traveled through a museum dedicated to the martyrdom of six Jesuit priests and two women who were executed in 1989. I encourage you to read about the full story on another website, as in the meantime I want to talk about the emotions involved in seeing this museum. First, the museum was located in the offices of the Jesuit priests, meaning we learned of their lives in what was once the space where they worked their message. There were photos on the wall showing the firebombing the soldiers did to the offices, bringing home what this space once was. We saw clothing and items belonging to Rutullio Grande and Romero, plus the actual clothing the Jesuits wore as they were executed. Bullet holes were like  pockmarks across the fabrics and stains of blood and other bodily fluids from the assassination that night are still clearly visible in each garment. Combined with bullet-riddled Bibles, torched paintings of Romero, and photos of the two women who were also killed, the museum was a haunting tribute to their lives. Continue reading