Ciudad Segundo Montes

Ciudad Segundo Montes

Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Hank, Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Hank, Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Dismantling Colomoncagua

Dismantling Colomoncagua

Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Leaving Colomoncagua

Leaving Colomoncagua

Farewell message

Farewell message

Gaia

Gaia

Volunteers

Volunteers

Perquin

Perquin

Colomoncagua refugee camp (photo by Gaia Mika)

Colomoncagua refugee camp (photo by Gaia Mika)

El Salvador

Morazon Province

January 1990 • Two thousand Salvadoran refugees had been living at a camp in Colomoncagua, Honduras, for 9 years and they wanted to go home, so I volunteered with one of the organizations that was accompanying them to Morazon province in northern El Salvador. Morazon was the scene of heavy fighting and a major atrocity during the worst years of the Salvadoran civil war, chronicled by Mark Danner in his haunting book The Massacre at El Mozote. There was a flareup in the war shortly before I went (seven Jesuit priests were slaughtered by a right-wing death squad), but the refugees' repatriation took place over several weeks without a hitch, and they immediately began building homes and workshops to replicate what they'd created while living in the camp. Two years later, the war was officially over. Met a lot of good people with good intentions, from all walks of life and many corners of the world, but ultimately learned a lot about shades of gray.

Ciudad Segundo Montes

Ciudad Segundo Montes

Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Hank, Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Hank, Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Dismantling Colomoncagua

Dismantling Colomoncagua

Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Colomoncagua (photo by Gaia Mika)

Leaving Colomoncagua

Leaving Colomoncagua

Farewell message

Farewell message

Gaia

Gaia

Volunteers

Volunteers

Perquin

Perquin

Colomoncagua refugee camp (photo by Gaia Mika)