El Salvador 2012 trip diary: Learning more

By Cheryl Ackman

Yet another whirlwind day, filled with history and brutal truths of the Salvadorians’ not so distant past. We visited Arch Bishop Romero’s home and the chapel he was shot in while giving a mass to the people. He was killed by a sniper in March, 1980. He was so admired by the people of the country that 1 million attended his funeral in the central town square. Sadly, more snipers used this as an opportunity to kill 60 people on that Easter Sunday.   

The country still resonates with his memories and keeps his small home open as a memorial. We were able to view the actual photos of his body, funeral and to see the clothing he was wearing while giving mass.

Next, we went to the Jesuit University, where six priests, who were known for helping the people, were massacred in a planned mission by the military, which was very violent and premeditated.  The church was filled with artwork that represented the torturing and violence that went on throughout the war. While we were walking throughout the church and grounds, there was a choral class practicing hymns that radiated peace and healing through the air. Rose bushes have been planted behind the church where the bodies of the dead priests were found, so that now there is beauty after such violence.

After this we made our way back to CIS to take an assessment test to see which Spanish language class we were best suited for.  Our group of seven was split into two classes to attend a two-hour lesson, such full days!! Esto es todo por ahora. (That’s all for now)