Posted by: missopinion | April 23, 2009

The new war

El Salvador being the country I was born in, however, not raised in since I was 4 years old. I was raised in and presently living in Australia.



map_of_el-salvadorI have been on a journey the last 3 years of discovering this heritage. A country of beautiful grey sandy beaches whose waters are always a balmy hot temperature, the gorgeous yet notorious surfing beaches, the majestic perilous volcanoes and the unorthodox, wacky and bizarre happenings of life in El Salvador; the people in general. All of those reasons are why I love going back to that country.


I thought to be fair, id give you a brief background on the not-so-pretty history. El Salvador is a country ravaged with the relics of both civil and inter-national war. Primarily it has been damaged by civil war for over 90 years. One of the most recent war phases occurred during the late 70’s to early 90’s until a peace accord was brokered in 1991.




The war has severely damaged the generation that was unfortunate to remain in the country during that time. There are many of us who were lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to migrate from that country and take up legal residence elsewhere in the world. However, many millions more remained who endured those years of civil war. They are the people who today are continuing to endure most of the remnants of the civil war. Without a doubt a country who has no war occurring is a much happier country, however, poverty, crime and corruption are abundant.





Children entered the war back in the late 70’s and 80’s. Some allege that they were children who were kidnapped and forced into guerrilla fighting, others claim they did it of their own accord following their belief of injustice, but the reality and fact is that child soldiers did exist. childsoldiers


People continued life right alongside the military and guerrillas. After all people needed to house, feed and clothe their families.


A very famous “rebel” radio station emerged, they were named Radio Venceremos which can translate to “Radio we will defeat”. They were an underground movement staffed by guerrillas who who fought for their beliefs and tried to promote their reasons for fighting to the general public without interference from the government of the time. They were targets for annihilation as they spoke out against the alleged, perceived and proven injustices and atrocities committed by the military and the governing party. Though having said that, through my own personal study into the history it seems both the military/government and guerrilla movements equally inflicted atrocities on innocent civilians.



gangsOne of the two new wars that exist in El Salvador today concerns the gangs; the “maras”. They are ruthless, unrelenting, ever growing in numbers due to the economic circumstances many poverty-stricken people. Homeless youth, misguided bitter and angry youths who have suffered great poverty, loss of hope for a future based on hard work and education and disregard for positive parental and familial influence. They turn to these gangs a source of refuge, comradeship, family substitute and of course “easy” money. This is the sad state of that country. That its own people have become the cancer that is continuing to destroy all the good work that honest hard working people are putting in to it.


The new war part 2



  1. Could you send me picture of these gangs so I can show my son so he would want to joen a gang

    • you can find them on the internet just look them up on google images, though, i suspect your son may only think they are cooler and may encourage him. If he does decide to do that, he will be completely lost. he has NO idea what he is getting himself into. its not cool, its not going to make him money, they are all just drone workers for the those higher up, those higher up in the chain are the ones with money the majority of the gang members are still living in poor and now worse conditions because they no longer have peace on their mind, no peace in their heart and know that eventually they will die a terrible death, early. But if thats how they wish to end their life. so be it. It just means 90% of the tiem they wont live beyond their 30th birthday.

  2. I was also born in El Salvador and raised there until i was about 3, I now live in Australia. I recently went back to El Salvador and the people there are unbelievably welcoming and I’m proud to call that my home. My father fought in that war and got shot but fortunately still lives today. There is no sign of the civil war when you go to El Salvador, everything is back to normal as if nothing happened and i’m proud of my country for conquering it. I feel like I belong only in El Salvador and no where else. I love Australia and this is where I live but El Salvador is my home.

    • hi Flora welcome! Thanks for your comment, i think that there are no signs of the civil war, however, the scars and consequences of the civil war are very prominent and i would disagree that “everything is back to normal as if nothing happened” I think El Salvador is very much hurting from the very cause of the problems initially. I do agree that it is great that we did officially end the civil war. I think the new President Mauricio Funes is someone that is key in getting El Salvador up from its knees but there are a lot of political knots and problems that were left by the previous governments that the FMLN need to undo and that will take time. As the classic shampoo ad says.. it wont happen over night but it will happen. 🙂

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