Rising from Ashes

Rising from Ashes

A Story by Maria

I was born in El Salvador, yet grew up in the states. This is for the contest in reference to Latin America


    El Salvador is considered the smallest country, within Central America.  It is also considered a third world country due to its high poverty levels and deemed highly dangerous due to its gangs and rising violence.
     If you were to ever come and visit this country, you would find yourself surrounded by kind, hearted people, that would try and offer you items that have been handmade, and or cooked by them, in order to make it through the day.  The country in itself, has much to offer a tourist, from volcanoes, to beautiful beaches, that run along its coastal line, towards the Pacific Ocean.
    Everywhere you go, there will always be vendors on the streets, offering food, and fruits, and or hand made jewelry or every day household items, they sale, at a very cheap price.

     All in all, the people work hard, each day, to be able to provide for their children, and family.  See, part of tradition, is that no matter how old you are, you are required to always live either with your parents or live near them, and or provide a space for them to live with you and your spouse, if you get married. 
    Once you graduate from high-school, parents do not push their children out of the house, but offer to help them, achieve their goals and dreams, if possible. So you can find a family of up to 30 relatives living under the same roof or property.  And this is normal, and seen as a blessing.  So, life in itself, is challenging for those that have lived here and managed to survive the many wars and conflicts that have arisen within this country, ever since the Spaniards invaded Central America.


     See, back when the Spaniards decided to come and conquer lands that already belonged to many Indian tribes, within the region, they never stopped to think, the impact this would cause on a population of people that never had had any type of contact with outsiders, aside from the tribes that lived and had established themselves within the strip, that is known as Central America. We had Pipils, Mayans and even Aztec Indians, living within Central America, and they each had their customs and traditions, passed on to newer generations.

   When the Spaniards arrived, with their animals, and foods, and clothing, that these had never seen, they never expected to be forced to change their own way of living, or to accept a new set of religious rules, that in the end, was enforced upon them as well.
   And the Spaniards never expected any type of resistance to change, and so, some of these tribes, had foreseen, these foreigners as a danger, and started attacking them right away, while others decided to give them a chance to show, what type of people they were, and they shared some of their traditions with them, in order to help them survive.
   Others were tricked into making deals, that only led to their deaths, and in the end, by the year of 1929, there was much terror, being inflicted upon the Indians, demanding that they stop dressing and following customs, that was part of their living.
   Aside from that, a coup that ended placing, Dictator General, Maximilian Hernandez Martinez as President ended being a death sentence for the Pipil Indian group, within El Salvador.

   See, once he came into power, there was already a revolt happening, due to the lack of provisions, and the fact that the tribes were robbed of their lands, and the Spaniards decided that they would put on bets and give the best lands to their own people, and the less bountiful sections to the Indians.
   Aside from that, the ones that would fight over their property, and not give up the deed, would be shot on site.  And then a man would be placed in charge of such land, and he would hire out other Indians, to work the land, and plant fruits and vegetables as well as coffee and than he would sell the product to other landowners.  The workers on the fields, would get a daily supplement of a tortilla, made from corn, and either bean soup, or just beans, with cheese, once a day.  If they were lucky, they would be fed twice a day and nothing more.
  If someone fell ill, or got hurt on the job, the boss would fire them on the spot or have them killed. The children, were no longer allowed to be trained in any way, and if they went to school, there were forced to wear, clothing that would cover their attire.  And the Spaniard children, would bully them, day in and day out and no amount of complaining, would ever change that.
  And so, it got to the point that the indians had had enough of such ill treatment they were inspired by a man to fight back.  His name was, Augustin Farabundo Marti.

     He told them that the only way, they could have justice was by taking up arms, and fighting off the regime, that was trying to exterminate them from the face of this earth.  And so on the evening of the 22nd of January 1932, they tried to overthrow, the Dictator General, but sadly, things quickly went from bad to worse.
  The coup did not go as plan, as the military had far better equipment, and after the failed attempt, they went into hiding. But then the General Dictator gave the order to kill all person, that appeared or had traits of being indian, and or wore the traditional clothing that they would wear within the tribe. Be it man, woman or child, no mercy was to be shown.
  And for a full week the military forces alongside with the police, went on a killing spree, in which, is stated, ended with the deaths of over 30,000 souls.

    After this time period, any survivors, were helped by some spaniards that did not agree with how things were being run, and were hidden from sight and given clothing that Spaniards wore, in order to keep them from being killed.  Others stopped speaking the Native tongue and learned Spanish.  And eventually, the Pipil Indian tribe, was destroyed so utterly, that after that, anyone that was suspected of being from this tribe would be killed immediately.
   And they would leave the bodies to rot, in public places, in order to terrorize and impose punishment to those that aided these people in any way.
And this did not stop, and as the years went by, poverty grew in such alarming rate, that the owners of ranches and farms would have plenty of hired hands, available all year round. Some ranchers, started treating their workers with dignity but most would be very cold and strict towards their workers.  The children would be forced out into the fields at the tender age of 3 and would learn to work alongside their parents, to earn the right to eat.
    Eventually by the time 1977 came about, there was talk of more left handed groups, that had been formed by those that were trying to take out the military from government, and were rounding up men, from every town, to join in their cause.  And hence a new party was formed by 5 different groups that would bare the name, Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional.  And this all came about between 1979-1980.
    This would commence a war, that lasted 12 long years, in which, the left and the right, fought to kick the military from government offices and seeking better treatment for its people.  

Even before the Civil War began, the early 1970s, were full of terror, from a group of National Guards that had freedom to do as they liked to known criminals, and all those they deemed below them.  To the point that no one would dare cross their path, or look into their eyes.  They killed without mercy. Elderly and Women with children, were not spared at all.
   And within this war, more massacres occurred as well, wiping out entire villages.  

   The war was never ending, and during this time, alot of families that had the means, migrated to the US while others sought refuge in Guatemala and Nicaragua.  During this time, alot of children went missing, either they were kidnapped or killed, no one knows for sure. Eventually in 1992, this war came to an end, and a peace treaty was made and signed as well.

    This came to be known as the Chalputepec Peace Accords.  And the country had much to do, in order to rebuild its society and deal with digging up grave pits and giving the dead a better burial.  Twenty Five years have passed since and the country has had some improvement, at least in building structure and malls, and shopping Centers, yet otherwise, there is still much bitterness that has been passed on to the younger generation, and many families looking for lost loved ones and demanding justice.
     The Education System suffered as well, and is well behind the push of reform to many of its old aspects and poverty still exists as well.  What came from the war, was the formation of gangs, that now dominate part of the territory of El Salvador, and control communities, bus routes and is slowly on the rise to induce terror once again.
    And so it is, that today, this country is struggling to rise once again, from the ashes, of what was left after the Civil War came to an end.

© 2017 Maria

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Featured Review

A amazing blog. I have been to El Salvador often when I was in the Army. Delivered water, medicine and food to many places. I never had any problems. I enjoyed the history shared. Thank you Maria for sharing your knowledge. It was a worthwhile read.

Posted 11 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


A amazing blog. I have been to El Salvador often when I was in the Army. Delivered water, medicine and food to many places. I never had any problems. I enjoyed the history shared. Thank you Maria for sharing your knowledge. It was a worthwhile read.

Posted 11 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow, that was powerful. And very sad. I thank you for this piece. I now know more about El Salvador, which helps me understand the region better. Central America has seen so much suffering, but I hope for better things in the future.

Posted 1 Year Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


2 Reviews
Added on July 9, 2017
Last Updated on July 9, 2017
Tags: orphans, war, bloodshed, pain, anguish, fight, justice, freedom



Fairfax, VA

I write from my heart, soul and mind. Sharing both past and present trials, that I have faced and or am facing. I believe strongly in God and the Bible, yet I respect everyone's views. I myself am no.. more..

My Punishment My Punishment

A Story by Maria

My Scars My Scars

A Poem by Maria