Nervously Going Back to El Salvador

I recently booked tickets to El Salvador for a week in December. I’m going down for a cousin’s wedding. This will be my first time back since 1998 and I’m a little nervous.

Since the end of El Salvador’s civil war the situation in the country has steadily declined. The war was supposed to improve life for its people. Instead the country has become less economically stable and more violent. Now a country the size and population of Massachusetts has an average murder rate of 16 people per week. Over 2,000 people have already been killed this year alone.

My family is no stranger to this violence. A cousin of mine almost died when her husband went on a shooting spree, attacking her, killing their baby and himself. She recovered both mentally and physically but other family members were not so lucky. An uncle on the other side of the family witnessed his son’s murder when they were carjacked.

I hear a lot about how violent the country is. It always makes me ask if everything my parents did was in vain. They gave up so much to try and change things. Here we are 30 years later and it’s about the same if not worse. My family made it and are better off now, but what about everyone else?

Maybe it’s the violence or the state of the country, but the thought of going back “home” makes me uneasy. I don’t think anything bad is going to happen but I know this will not be like visiting Panama, which is much safer. My family has been asking me to come back and I never go. I feel bad sometimes but it’s tough when my immediate family is not living there anymore. Even though I’m nervous I think the trip will be good. It has been a long time coming and I can’t wait to see my family.

Eugenia’s Testimonial

First of all, I want to thank everyone who commented about the video. I’m glad that so many of you liked it. It was a great experience and I would like to thank Tod Gross for having me on the show.

This next video is a testimonial that one of my cousins gave at her church. Last year her husband shot her, their child and himself. She survived but the baby did not. It was very hard on my grandmother and that side of the family. My cousin has pulled through and despite everything that happened she is determined to continue to live her life. I can’t imagine how hard this must have been for her and I am proud of her for speaking about it so soon after it happened.

(The video is in Spanish and the audio quality is not the best, but if you are able to understand it then I recommend watching.)

Dufar on Google Maps

Two weeks ago Google and the US Holocaust Museum released an update to Google Earth that highlights the crisis in Darfur.

On the map you can zoom down into the different villages and see which ones have been burned.

I’m really glad to see this kind of thing happening because it makes it harder and harder for Sudan to claim nothing is happening

Technology has a wonder way of making things very transparent.

If you would like more information about the situation in Darfur please look at the Wikiepdia entry and

My thoughts on the Virginia Tech shootings

I thought I would take a sec a reflect on yesterdays events. I know its a little off topic for this blog but at the same time I think its important and its been on my mind.

Last night I was watching news coverage on the events and they had this “expert” from NY talking about how this should have been handled like a terrorist attack. He was saying that the school should have been shut down right away as soon as the first bullets were fired.

That’s easy to say now. I’m sure the school responded as they thought was appropriate. I don’t think it handling it like a terrorist attack is the right thing to do either. Just look at what happened here in Boston a few months ago with the bomb scare. The city of Boston over reacted and created a huge mess.

My dad was, right Americans need to blame someone. I think blaming the school it to easy. In these situation you can ALWAYS do something better that MIGHT have saved more lives. But really there is no way for the school to know that this guy was going to start shooting people. Its not there fault he went psycho.

If you must blame someone blame this coward to senselessly attacked people and then took the easy way out by killing himself. I can just see it now. There is going to be an investigation into Virgina tech to see what when wrong.

I’m sure the school could have done something a little better but this guy was determined to kill people. He had it planned out. He chained the doors and had spare clips. I mean how do you plan for something like that? You can’t and trying to have some plan in place for an event like this isn’t going to help either.

What are you going to do have everyone in every school walk through a medal detector? No you train for the worst and pray it never happens. Its a tragedy and its horrible but sadly these things happen and they happen all over the world.

In fact I find it interesting that we as Americans are so upset about this when these things happen everyday in Darfur. If 33 people were killed in a tiny African village would anyone care?

I don’t really have a point. I just think the whole thing sucks. Its sad that these thing happen both here and around the world. My heart goes out to the family and students.

One a side not this is a pretty bad week in modern American history. Things that happened this week:

Columbine Shooting – April 20th 1999
Oklahoma Bombing – April 19th, 1995
Woca Texas Fire – April 19th, 1993

I’m not suggesting there is a connection its just interesting that they happened around the same time.