Thursday, November 11, 2010

Telling our stories

People can better reach an understanding across cultures when they hear each other's stories. In an essay titled simply From Civil War to Peace, Cecilia Alvarado tells of her journey from growing up amidst a civil war in El Salvador to raising a family in California:

Growing up in the middle of a civil war is not easy and it is only made harder when your family does not have a lot of money. El Salvador, much like the rest of Central America at the time, was in conflict. The war raged within our borders for 12 years between 1980 and 1992. It caused instability, fear and disruption of services. Seventy-five thousand people lost their lives in the war. In a small country, that means you were almost certain to know people that had died as a result of the fighting.

We were fortunate there was not a lot of fighting near our town but soldiers from both sides would pass through looking for food and water. Dad spent much of his free time on the porch waiting for them to pass through so he could offer refreshments in hopes of gaining enough respect from them to avoid any problems. It worked as the soldiers would have their fill and move on to the next place without problem. (More).

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