"The soldiers have faded into the background. They're not shooting people any more. The new martyrs are poor children dying in the face of indifference from people who don't care and whose wealth is harvested from the suffering of others. Excluding and dehumanizing the poor is a kind of terrorism."
"Latin America has one of the biggest gaps between the rich and poor. As the gap grows, it's a kind of war. Hunger is violence. There can be no peace when there is still hunger."
"The push of globalization here has taught us that as humanity learns to worship the god of productivity, a civilization of hopelessness is being created. In traditional rural societies — like in America during the age of small family farms — a social fabric protected the poor. Agri-business has sent the rural poor into the cities in search of better jobs. Today's urban poor are isolated, alone, without community. In San Salvador today, we see many finding answers through escapism — escapism through drugs or through religious fundamentalism."
"'Forgive and forget' is the mantra of the privileged class in El Salvador. The unprivileged can forgive, but they do not want to forget. We need to become 'professors of never again' in our society."
"The US-supported government would prefer to just forget Romero and all he stood for. It controls the media. It writes the text books. On the 10th anniversary of Romero's death, not a word was seen in the newspapers. On the 20th anniversary, Cardinal Mahoney of the US came to the memorial Mass with 40,000 people attending. That was covered modestly in the papers. This year, on the 25th anniversary, the local papers are devoting many pages to the biggest rallies and marches yet. Romero vive!"
"With the spirit of Romero so alive, El Salvador is becoming the school for the globalization of solidarity. As we globalize economics, we need to globalize love and compassion. At the end of our lives, the question will be, 'How much have you loved?'”
"Suffering and sadness are not synonymous. Salvadorans laugh as hard as they cry. They love to say, 'If God wills, tomorrow will be better.' Here in El Salvador we believe that, on the day you meet your maker, you will be met by an angel to wipe away your tears. Woe to you who arrive with dry eyes."
Priests and nuns are routinely excommunicated in Central America for their political activism. While technically booted from their Church, they continue their work without missing a beat, believing, as one priest told me, “Part of our vow of obedience to the Church is disobedience to the Church.”
About This Entry
You are reading "Woe to You Who Arrive with Dry Eyes", an entry posted on 06 November 2009 by Rick Steves.