El Salvador: four days in Nueva Esperanza
A special community with an interesting history. In the quiet village Nueva Esperanza in the middle of El Salvador, everything seems to be alright. Although the people are obviously poor from our point of view, they consider themselves to be rich. They survived the Civil War, they hold together and help ech other. Everybody here owns some animals, has enough to eat, most people live in stone houses, they ride horses or bicycles, some even have cars… We stayed at Soledad’s Guest House and she told us a lot about Nueva Esperanza’s history:
During the Civil War in El Salvador from 1980 – 1991 the community left Nueva Esperanza little by little and escaped to Nicaragua until nobody was left. Soledad told us cruel stories about the death squads of the military regime and their living conditions in Nicaragua. It is terrifying how much the US government under Reagan was involved in this war and how they supported the right military dictatorship with arms and trainings. The special thing about Nueva Esperanza is that nearly all the survivors came back to the village as soon as war was over and worked together to build up everything again. The national trauma of the war is still very obvious, says Soledad. But at the same time the Salvadorians are happy and proud that the opposition was able to overturn dictatorship and establish a democracy. Although the ownership of land and ressources not really changed after the war… This is still one of the greatest problems in the country: The whole land is in the hands of a few families who even control which seeds the little farmers can buy on the markets…
In the end, we actually stayed longer than we wanted because Lena got ill again with a bacterial infection, but everybody was really helpful, she felt better quickly. And the people were so happy that we came to visit that they even organized a dance presentation of the traditional youth dance group!