This past week we spent two days in the department of Morazán, up in the far eastern corner of El Salvador on the border with Honduras. We’ve never been to this part of the country before, and it was nice to get away and out of the city for a little while. It was about three hours of driving from San Salvador before we arrived…with winding roads the whole way!
The department of Morazán is not only beautiful, but it is also filled with lots of history as it was a place where many guerillas and guerilla supporters lived during the Salvadoran civil war in the 80s and early 90s. We visited some of the historic sites, as well as explored some of the natural beauty of the region. I’ve broken our trip down into four parts so I can explain everything we saw. It was definitely worth the trip and I would recommend it to anyone travelling through Central America!
Our first stop was the Museum of the Revolution. This is a museum created by the local community in the town of Perquín. It houses many artifacts from the conflict, which was between the right wing government, and the communist revolutionaries (the guerilla fighters). Many human rights atrocities were committed and by the end of the war 75,000 people were dead. Many influential leaders were assassinated and many civilians were killed as well. The U.S. government backed the right-wing government with arms, money, and training with the goal of preventing a communist Central America. There is much controversy because of the horrible things that goverment did to the rebel guerilla communities.
The museum has newspaper clippings and documents glued to construction paper and hung on the concrete walls. It was prohibited to take pictures so I don’t have any of the inside of the museum. Since I was born in 1979, I don’t remember much about the civil war, I just remember hearing about a lot of fighting in Central America as I was growing up. Some of the posters that were particularly interesting to me were the anti-war posters from the U.S. saying things like “Stop Bombing El Salvador.” There were also posters from the Middle East, Belgium, and Germany on display requesting the freedom of political prisoners in El Salvador and demanding that the U.S. stop supporting the Salvadoran government. El Salvador is such a small country that it was amazing to me how polarizing the conflict really was.
Another, very sad, part of the museum was the eyewitness accounts that were written down and preserved regarding the massacre of peasants in the surrounding communities, the worst being in Mozote. I will talk more about this in another post but it truly was tragic to read these accounts.
Another interesting thing was the resistance radio station that was located next to the site of the museum. From here, the guerillas broadcast all over El Salvador and all over the world.
The Museum of the Salvadoran Revolution to pay homage to the heroes and martyrs of that war. The inside of the museum had a plaque stating that the museum was opened so that those who lost their lives for a better El Salvador would not be erased from the world’s memory.
This is a plaque in front of some of the cannons. The weapons were used in Vietnam, in Nicaragua, and then in El Salvador.
Here are the cannons. Behind them, on the wall, are drawings calling for peace made by children in the community.
The remains of aircraft that crashed in the region.
Inside the resistance radio station. The soundbooth was insulated with egg cartons.
The outside of the radio building.
A huge bomb that was dropped nearby, leaving a gigantic crater.
Tori and Ian down inside the crater…you can see how huge it really is.