viernes, 21 de diciembre de 2012

Tragedy

It is a salvadoran tragedy. In Christmas time, We all watch news where people get burned and die because they suffered accidents with firecrackers and powder.

Last Sunday, December 16th, around four o'clock in the afternoon,  a small shanty blew up. The explotion was located on the slopes of Mount San Jacinto, south of San Salvador. In the humble home, a marriage was engaged in making firecrackers. Every year, during the month of December, they did so as an extra activity to their jobs. Every weekday during the nights and every weekend they worked very long hours. With their bare hands, They tamped down charges of white powder among joint-like old newspaper rolls.

Teresa Majano de Galvez died almost immediately by the explosion and the severe burns. Her husband, Pedro Galvez suffered third degree burns over 70% of his body. The burns penetrated through the skin, damaging, most likely, nerves, blood vessels and, almost certainly, destroying any regenerative capacity. Pedro's strenght kept him alive ​​four more days. However, he succumbed to the severity of the accident. Yesterday, on thursday, December 20th, physicians certified his death.

A third adult was another victim of the accident. Pedro's sister, Irma Galvez, who from Sonsonate had came to work for them, now is fighting between life and death.
San Francisco Community.
Here in El Salvador, very poor neighbourhoods are called communities. Normally they are located in ravines and very sloped hills. Getting to San Francisco community in San Jacinto was more complicated than we though. At the point where bus 22 got its last stop, I felt like if we had reached some kind of border. In San Jacinto neighborhood's side of the border, I perceived a decline of once thriving neighborhood. Each home has been isolated itself by barbed wire, iron gates and big walls. They are foreign to communities' marginal life. In the other hand, In the communities' side of the border, I felt a rural setting. People raise chickens, goes to the mill to grind corn, cook with firewood and also They struggle to survive.

A graffiti signed by a local gang warned us about who rules the neighborhood: "See, hear and be silent." The community has some minor overtones of prosperity. Electricity, drinking water and paved roads. However, you can not help noticing where this human settlement has been erected: on a steep hillside of the many that make up the slopes of Mount San Jacinto.

Three Electrical Engineering Students.
Pedro and Teresa had three of his kids studying electrical engineering at the University of El Salvador. Hernán, the senior, began in 2006, seven years ago. Two juniors, who are twins, enrolled in 2009. The only education these young guys have accessed has been in the public education system. Jorge and Edwin, the twins, studied at the Industrial Technical Institute (INTI). These two boys were tested for admission to enter the University in late 2008 and They approved without problems the entrance examination.

Soon they discovered that public education did not prepared them for a college education. However, the story of these young guys and their parents is the story of many Salvadoran families who are struggling to overcome adversity. On the one hand, fighting their academic deficiencies. The three students have been able to continue, enrolled as regular students. On the other hand, until the fateful December 16th, her parents fought against economic hardship. That struggle costed them their lives.

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