Acteal and Las Abejas (The Bees)

Buenas Noches dear reader!聽 What an awesome day!聽 The experience in Acteal is one I will never forget.聽 We have had many of those moments on this trip, but this was truly a highlight.聽 We left around nine this morning in two vans and rode out of San Cristobal up into the hills to the north.聽 The views of the green hills were breathtaking.聽 The winding roads were precarious in some places and the bumpy ride did not agree with all stomachs, but we made it without any incidents, if you know what I mean!聽 We had very good drivers who were braver than me!

We got to Acteal just in time to see the procession of community and church leaders head down the stairs to the chapel.聽 As I said in my earlier post, today was the celebration and mass for Las Abejas who were killed in the massacre on December 22, 1997.聽 We hopped out of the vans and followed the procession down the stairs. We then made our way to seats in the concrete bleachers.聽 The service was spoken in Spanish and Tzotzil. What I was not ready for was how welcomed we were made to feel. So welcomed that Continue reading

Chiapas Day 09—The Bees of Acteal

Dear reader, thank you for your dedication to following us on this journey.聽 It has been difficult, as our hearts have broken every day, and we have wept as our eyes were opened to the horrific truths told to us simply, quietly, by the people who have suffered them.聽 I鈥檓 afraid today鈥檚 post will continue that trend as I tell you of our visit to Acteal and the people who call themselves Los Abejas (The Bees).聽 But perhaps, when our hearts have broken enough times, they will break open so wide that we will be able to let the whole world in.

We left the hotel earlier than usual because we had a two hour drive through the winding mountain roads before we could reach our destination.聽 We drove from Los Altos (The Highlands) where San Cristobal lies to the edges of Las Canyadas (The Canyons).聽 The views were breathtaking—brilliant blue skies held up by vast green mountains, which plunged together to form the valleys for which the region is named. Continue reading

El Salvador Day 07 鈥 A March, Some Pottery, a Nun, and Karaoke

Update: I’ve added photos so take a look!

Today was yet another full day yet I must be brief if I鈥檓 to have any energy left for our final day in El Salvador tomorrow. So much has happened here and it鈥檚 hard to believe Thursday is our final full day before we pack up and head out early Friday. I’m still having trouble uploading photos. Well, I found a way, but it would be one at a time and it’s simply too late in the night, I’m sorry.You’ll have to remain content with my written ramblings until I find an easier way to reinstate photos in the new posts.

Here鈥檚 the scoop, dear reader鈥

Weighing Our Options

Today was the 30th anniversary of the assassination of Monsignor Oscar Romero. We began the morning by bussing out to the chapel where Romero was shot through the heart and found the entire chapel and plaza completely full. A worship service went on as we shopped, rested, and prepared for a march during the day 鈥 a big difference from marching in the cool of the evening as we did on Friday night.

Before we left the guest house, however, we examined our options for the day: march the whole march, join in late, start it and end early, or whatever else was on the table. We chose to start it and see what happens, as Christina felt it was important for us to see the full chapel. It turned out to be the right decision, too, as we had a chance to purchase flags, bandannas, and other memorabilia with Romero鈥檚 visage gracing it. Plus, I got the chance to meet a Deputy, a Senator in the National Assembly of El Salvador. A man in a suit was walking around, shaking hands with excited people. I figured hey, this guy鈥檚 got to be somebody, so I simply asked him if he spoke English and who he was. He told me, I asked for a photo together, and when I showed it to Cristina, I learned he was Damian Alegria. I now have taken a photo with a Salvadorian senator and a photo of the president from only five feet away.

A March of Solidarity

We let the beginning of the parade go by and joined in, waving our flags and joining in on several of the chants. Many of us were overwhelmed by Continue reading