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Published: July 23rd 2009
¨That´s exactly why we had the war. For freedom of expression, for democracy, for the rights of the people, of the farmers and of the Earth.¨ He spoke passionately but I could tell it was not the first time he´d said the words. I was speaking with Don Miguel, the owner of our hostel who, along with most of the other citizens of Perquín and, indeed, the whole state of Morazán, had repopulated the abandoned mountainsides. The whole region had been a war zone little more than a decade earlier but already you can hardly tell. Looking around town there are only shy, smiling faces to be found. Its hard to believe that within many of these people´s lives, whole towns were massacred a few miles away.
As the night sets in so does the fog, the walls so porus that the candels cast giant spheres in throughout the large room - living in a cloud inside and out. I stepped outside to speak with Javier. We talked about the winters, did it get much colder? Not so much these days, he said. We've cut down all teh forrests and it's causing global warming he said, frankly. I mentioned
the pine beetle in Canada, I guess to make him feel better. "Forests the size of your country decimated..." It didn't appear to work.
As we spoke, several trucks passed by up the sloppy road illuminating the moonless night and blinding the steady stream of passers-by. There was movement everywhere. What was going on? Were they mobilizing? Knowing the towns militant history, my capricious mind wanders, mingling with the unexpected and the mysterious.
I asked Javier. An much-loved local woman had died while travelling abroad to the US. Her body had just been brought back to Perquin and the whole town was about to pay their respects. She had been his school teacher - indeed had taught most of the young people in town. Yes, he had gone earlier. He didn't seem to be too emotional about it but I still couldn't bring myself to ask how it happened or why she wanted to leave Perquin. I, suppose I was worried I already knew the answers I'd be given.
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