Vivian Ramos's Salvadoran Civil War Stories

by Vivian Ramos

Vivian Ramos's Salvadoran Civil War Stories
Vivian Ramos's installation on both sides of the Salvadoran Civil War

Vivian Ramos, a student in the MA in Global Affairs program has written an installation on the Salvadoran Civil War. The first story recounts her father, Jose's account on being "offered" by his family to the army and not knowing what he was fighting against when he was "initiated into the conflict." Francisco's, the father of one of Vivian's friends, story tells of a young man who felt compelled to join the guerrilleros after hearing stories of peaceful protestors being murdered in their homes and having realized the disparity that was existing in the country.

An excerpt from Francisco's story:

"Even though Francisco and my father, Jose, participated in the war from two different perspectives, they nonetheless had very similar experiences. War is thought to divide people ideologically-speaking, but at the end of the day, what unites all is tragedy and unforeseen change. Both men came from truly humble beginnings and were fortunate to have survived the conflict, unlike the thousands of others who were killed. Leaving one's homeland and leaving one's family is the hardest feeling that a man can ever comprehend; nevertheless, both I and Arely are overwhelmingly proud of our fathers' perseverance and success in this country. Yet at this point in their lives which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the signing of the peace accords, it is necessary to reflect on their past lives in El Salvador and what it meant leaving the only home they knew. As the saying goes, one cannot advance forward without looking into their past, however painful it may be."