A Pilgrim's Journey
Rebecca Murray
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology

A journal on the experience of traveling to El Salvador on the 20th Anniversary of the deaths of the UCA Martyrs

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It seems odd to note that 8 days out of a person’s life could be transforming.  To be certain, lives have been destroyed, greatness has been secured and catastrophic events have happened in a much shorter time span than 8 days.  The 8 dates in October, marked on my calendar as “Gone to El Salvador” had little significance in their own right.  Indeed, when I was there,  I rarely even knew what day it was.   But in these 8 days the people of El Salvador, past and present, found their way into my heart.  They simultaneously broke it and filled it.   As an academic, I am trained in how to think; how to process information and make it do something.  I knew about the civil war in El Salvador – I knew about Romero, I knew about the Jesuits.  What I did not know, what I learned while I was there, was how feel the stories of El Salvador; to listen to ex combatants Maria and Ephraim; to see and touch the graves of Grande, Romero, the Mary Knolls and the Jesuits; to be with the spirits of the murdered children of El Mozote.  Of course, these stories, like El Salvador itself, were there before our trip and are there still – but I, in part, am new. I have seen and smelled and felt and heard El Salvador’s truth, and that truth has changed who I am, and who I hope to be.

Rebecca Murray, Ph.D.
Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology
Creighton University

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