El Salvador; Massacre Memorials

Published: July 30th 2009
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Old JeepOld JeepOld Jeep

Left from the civil war, Perquin, El Salvador
Leaving Nicaragua, we got a bus to the Honduran border which was easy to cross. We had to walk to the other side of the border, crossing military men holding guns. There we waited for a mini-bus to take us to a bus station in Honduras where we could travel the PanAmerican Highway to the El Salvador border. We had to take rickshaws (looks like a red 3-wheeled golf cart) to our next destination where we were stopped a few times to have our passports checked. We arrived to Santa Rosa de Lima, El Salvador where we got small rooms with a bed and hammock.
The following day we headed to Perquin, El Salvador where we had quickly learned that although many Nicaraguans try to scam you to pay more money than you are supposed to, most El Salvadorians couldn’t do counting or math in their heads. . We had to take a bus that was driven by a maniac who tried to pass everything in his way, weaving between lanes, nearly hitting several vehicles
Cattle TrafficCattle TrafficCattle Traffic

Cows blocking the PanAmerican Highway in Honduras
and causing oncoming traffic to brake for him as he blared his horn, clear he was not slowing down, but passing a vehicle. Once he nearly clipped a “highly flammable” labelled carrier truck when he swerved to avoid a head-on collision with oncoming traffic!

We found a suitable hostel, which was a five bedroom, common TV room, and bathroom hostel to ourselves as few tourists come to this town. The guest ledger says on average only about 2 people stay every two weeks so we were delighted to be away from tourists. We ate at a hotel/restaurant that had 2 items on the menu (chicken or meat, with rice and beans, and no beverages!) The following day we went to Mozoto, a village that was massacred by the government in 1981. The military slain everyone in the village (and members of neighboring villages) for aiding the Guerrillas during a 60 year Civil War. Only two people survived; a young boy (now a police officer) and a woman who hid while she heard her children screaming for help. Neither were believed and for over ten years, no one went to the village. When people finally came to the village, they found piles of skeletons and slain bodies everywhere. Now the church has turned into a memorial and mural, there is a garden where the women and children were found. There are few people who have moved back to the village, and many plaques with the names of everyone killed engraved on them. We wanted to get led by local children to see the caves the guerrillas hid in, but due to time constraints, we could not. Instead we went to a museum, given a tour by an ex-guerrilla in Spanish. The museum was full of information from the 1930’s when the war began to the present and contained many posters, propaganda, uniforms, weapons, and pictures of leaders and activists who were killed for aiding the El Salvadorians suffering because of their government’s actions.

That night we ate many pupusas, which are breaded flat pastries grilled with meat/beans/cheese in it and came with a really good salad for only 40 cents apiece! They are very delicious and we had the poor woman cooking 22 in total for us four!

Next day we went to Santa Ana,
Building MuralBuilding MuralBuilding Mural

Along the length of the church
El Salvador which was having a month-long celebration for a patron-saints day. We got to do laundry which we desperately needed, but as they were drying outside we left and a storm came and soaked our nearly-dry clothes. We were fortunate enough to get a TV that rotates so we could watch Spiderman II from the bathroom. We went to a crystal lake, which looked like a body of water, polluted beach, mostly owned by rich property owners with a few expensive hotels. Steve and Helenka wanted to walk the 4 km from the viewpoint to the beach while Step and i just wandered the beach and had cold red pop. Just as we were giving up to leave, we found Steve and Helenka, sweaty, hot and tired had finally made their way to the beach, which wasn’t worth the 8 km they walked to get there! When we returned to the town, we went to the outdoor festival, which looked like a carnival or fair but the streets were lined with similar vendors with same prices in the same places; for example, all of the fry
Mozoto Village MuralMozoto Village MuralMozoto Village Mural

Mural on side of church building after the massacre in 1981
vendors sold for $1 and were along one row, all the burgers were done the same, all $1 and along another row. The chicken meals were in one area, same price and same sides with it, the people with bracelets in one spot, those with cheap toys and souvenirs in another spot, and so on. It’s interesting they don’t spread out or compete with each other.

It’s very interesting here but little else to do, and we are on our way to Guatemala soon.
^Út Í Óvissuna^

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Plaque to villagePlaque to village
Plaque to village

Reads something like, "In this place they found in 1992 the rest of 146 persons, 140 younger than 12 years, All they found buried now in the monument. El Mozote Never Again" ...
Memorial to those massacredMemorial to those massacred
Memorial to those massacred

Names engraved on plaques of all the known village and family members who were massacred by the government
Perquin HillPerquin Hill
Perquin Hill

Top of view point
Washing clothesWashing clothes
Washing clothes

In the sink

19th November 2009

el salvador
is a amazing place to visit ! the people over there is very nice
9th August 2010

when i was in el salvador
your story was soo good it made me remember when i was in el salvador san miguel.

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