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-Monseñor Urioeste

Before a U.S. Congressional Delegation

Visiting El Salvador (circa 1983)

Elections are but a note in the song of democracy and you keep playing the same note

expecting us to hear a symphony

About the Photo

El Salvador    1990-1994

One of the tactics the Salvadoran Guerilla would use when things weren’t going their way during the UN sponsored negotiations in Mexico City was to sabotage the electricity to the affluent neighborhoods in San Salvador.


With the electricity out so were the traffic lights—youngsters would step-in to direct traffic for coins that drivers tossed to them. Lupita’s crew of three chavitos would dart into the street to collect the coins.


Sometimes I would catch up with them. This one morning after the traffic had eased I came up to them in a huddle counting their coins. I had a department store shopping bag which Lupita quickly notices saying “Ya regresates, que traes ahi!?” In there were 4 sets of running shoes, a collection of pastel colors, a whistle, a waist bag, chocolate bars, some bilingual school books. She used the pastels to paint a clown face on herself.


The photo was taken at a busy intersection, up the street from el Novo Hotel where I would stay.


In the photo she has stopped traffic to her back, stopped traffic to her left side, stopped traffic with her right hand, and is about to direct traffic with her left hand.

 

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Staff meeting at El Novo, San Salvador