The first year that we met with las madres, we spent time getting to know them and letting them get to know us. The women who we worked with that year were Alicia, the director, Patty, Transito, and Magda. They were so kind to us, took such good care of us- even cooked great lunches for us every day. One day we were treated to river crab.
That year we talked about how we might write a book of the history of their organization, we learned about El Salvador, and we saw some sights.
One of the things Alicia, who was the director then, showed us was the Monument to Truth and Memory.
This monument contains the names of the civilians killed and disappeared during the civil war. Monsignor Romero's name is included on this monument, as are the names of Alicia's son and nephew. They were both killed during the period after the civil war when the Truth Commission was collecting information about atrocities committed during the war.
Seeing this monument drove home the enormity of the injustice that the civilian population faced during the war that lasted from 1980-1992. All the names on this wall are civilians!
This first year was a mix of true delight in getting to know these incredible women, and also beginning to come to terms with the tragedy they and many others have lived through.