Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Believe That's (not) All Folks!

To reference the cartoon Porky Pig, "I believe that's all folks"! Well almost. History will never end, nor will my contribution to the Ellacuria project end today. I completed the timeline of events leading up to the November 16th assassinations as well as the final reflection paper for the course this week. All of my tasks have been completed but there is always more than can be added to the project. The timeline ended a few hours after the killings took place, but I could go further to include the happenings of the trial and how that impacted El Salvador. That is a question I am sure many historians face, when to "end".

As possibly the last post for the project, I want to again thank everyone who has helped me through this process. The biographies and timeline could not have been completed without all those who guided, proofed, read, and reread my work.

Keep an eye out when November comes around and you will see the completed project featured on Loyola University's homepage as well as links to further provide information on LUC's Solidarity with El Salvador.

Thank You.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Personal Touch

First things first- belated shout out to Loyola University Chicago's Alumni Facebook page for posting this blog! Pretty cool!

These next few days are the end of my internship and I never spoke about how this project will help me out in the future. I do not have all the answers for what lies ahead, and I never will. God only knows.
With that being said, a few weeks back when I was researching the six Jesuits, my mom gave me the idea to check the Voice of Martyr's (VOM) website to see if they have an online archive. VOM is a not-for-profit organization that helps Christians who are imprisoned, tortured, and persecuted all around the world. It is an organization that my family and I have supported for years and is a very well respected nonprofit, in our opinion. As I was searching their website (VOM) I stumbled upon their careers/locations. Their only U.S. location is in Bartlesville, Oklahoma a town that very few people know about, but I had just visited the area back in May. Lets just say that there are a lot of people that mean the world to me living in Bartlesville/Tulsa area and I could see myself living there after college. It is no coincidence that the VOM is located in Bartlesville. Perhaps after the fall semester, I will be working for VOM. Nothing is set in stone nor have I reached out to VOM yet, but like I said, it is no coincidence how helping a professor on a project has led me to a possible post-graduation career in a small town that is close to my heart.

Osage Hills State Park
(outside of Bartlesville, OK)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

All in the Detail

One more week of research left for me and thankfully, I am on track. Only a couple phrases had to be adjusted in the biographies: the description of UCAII and Fe y Alegria. To clarify these two areas I delved into some Catholic history. UCAII was the result of internal disputes at the Universidad Centroamericana over a publication between the Jesuits (not just the six that were killed, but the entire Jesuit community at the university). Ellacuria was in favor of publishing the work so he lead a walk-out, splitting the university into two houses: UCAI and UCAII. The six Jesuits that were killed all belonged to UCAII as all were strong advocates for liberating the poor of El Salvador. Fe y Alegria I learned is an education organization that did not start in El Salvador. It began in the 1950s and Lopez y Lopez helped to expand the center to San Salvador. The organization is still thriving today and you can check it out here: Faith and Joy
There is much more information on these two areas in the biographies, I just thought it would be interesting to share how these two phrases turned me to learning even more about the Jesuits and Central America.

The remaining days I have will be left to creating a timeline of events leading up to the massacre as well as the actual massacre itself. Most information I have found thus far begins on November 11, 1989 when the fighting guerrilla forces (FMLN) set off simultaneous attacks in the capital of San Salvador. The Salvadoran army was caught off guard and responded poorly to the well supplied combatants. There are many events that occur in the next five days such as the censoring of all information to the public, a search at the Loyola Center, occupation of troops in the neighborhood where the UCA is located, and the chain of command that created the plan to eliminate the "threats" that they perceived as Ellacuria and his fellow Jesuits. I found a flow chart on page 279 in Martha Doggett's work Death Foretold (purchase it here on Amazon: Death Foretold) of the Atlacatl Commando Unit and those responsible for the attack and murders. Their positions and nicknames are included in the chart as well. Hopefully by having a timeline of events that lead up to the assassinations on November 16, 1989 will give readers a better understanding of the dangerous situation and environment that consumed El Salvador for over ten years.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Fine Day for Editing

This week has been dedicated to editing the seven completed biographies. Loyola has a Writing Center, which I suggest to all students to take advantage of, so I made an appointment. It sure does "take-a-village" when it comes to working on a project. Shout out to Shelby Scott at WTC's Writing Center for reviewing all seven biographies and giving fantastic feedback! Shelby suggested that we start by having her read out loud all the biographies, that way I can catch anything that sounds awkward (I can be very good at being awkward...). Luckily, there was not a ton of grammar mistakes and only a few awkward phrases. I had a few questions about formatting which caused more questions about the presentation of the biographies in the online exhibit. In order to be consistent and in case the biographies are split up, she suggested repeating titles/names/translations in all the biographies. I do not know how Professor Berger wants my work cited, and Shelby said that the kind of citation is up to Professor Berger's discretion. I have been very consistent in documenting where I found all the information on the Jesuits and Ramos family so citing should not be that hard. At the end of the appointment I asked Shelby if the biographies were "too dry" and monotonous because she was a blank slate to the information. She was very honest and said that the content was well done and the overall writing was solid. By no means does she thing that the biographies are "too dry" as she pointed out that I included personal facts and quotes beyond the basic information on each person. I was worried that  the biographies were going to be too much of date-location-date-blah-blah-blah, which like I have said before is NOT what I want to do. Also, Shelby said that the voice of the biographies are not my own, which is good because the composition should reflect each victim and be "their voice". Thanks Shelby!

Link to my Go-To for editing guidelines: Purdue OWL

It is a baby owl... Get it?

Now that the end of this internship is coming to an end, I have been reflecting more on what it means to be a historian. Just from these past two weeks of composing the biographies and now having them be edited and fine tuned, writing history really is a process. I remember many professors in my past classes ask "What is history? and how is history created?". Many say that history is written by the winners and those with the education and ability to record events. Although those are very well answers, to me I think it takes more than education and a pen and paper, it is the conviction or lack there of, of the historian who is writing history. What I mean by that is the relevance of information is up to the discretion of the reader/writer/observer and what he or she may find important or not, another person may very well think the opposite. For example, I think it is important to include facts such as Ellacu being an incredible soccer player or that Obdulio planted two yellow rose bushes for his wife and daughter to be information that ought to be included in their biographies. To me, those small pieces of information give a more complete picture of the individuals. My point is this- what is written as "history" does not give the entire picture, and how could it? It would be impossible to record every account of every person, but a lot sure does get lost. I want to make the audience aware that the Jesuits and Ramos family were more than victims who were killed, they were very involved people inside and out of their communities. They faced hardships and were living in a civil war. I could go on and on, but hopefully if you choose to read the biographies you will get a more complete picture.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Phase 2 Complete... with a Bonus

Not sure if this is technically "Phase 2" but I am going with it. Quite a few things happened this week and I will even throw in a personal note.
Most importantly: I typed up all of the biographies. What ended up happening was that I created seven in total and merged Julia Elba and Celina's into one because there is not enough information. By doing so I was able to speak about Obdulio (Julia Elba's husband and Celina's father). I found writing Julia and Celina's biographies the most difficult, not because of the lack of information but because of their innocence. The information about how they were killed is horrendous. Julia's body was hardly recognizable with the amount of bullets put into her, and the position of her body was found shielding Celina's body. It was Obdulio who found all the bodies the following morning.
Piggybacking off that: In my research I learned that Obdulio planted a rose garden at UCA with six rose bushes for the Jesuits in a circle and two yellow rose bushes in the center for his wife and daughter. This small piece of information many might find unimportant, but to me I wanted to find a photo of the roses which I had no clue in how to come about that. There is so much symbolism behind a rose if you stop and think about it. So stop and think about that for a second....
Here is the bonus: I was speaking to Dr. Jessica Martone (Department of Social Work at Loyola) because I am helping her with an evaluation project. We were talking about our busy schedules and trying to figure out our availability to work, so I ended up sharing with her this project. Turns out, Dr. Martone has been to UCA and has an entire file of photos! Guess what- she has photos of the rose garden! It is amazing what can happen when you share information with others. Dr. Martone is allowing me to use her photos from her trip for this blog as well as for the project. I really hope that some of her photos will be included in the online exhibit because these are personal photos that can not be found online (I am sure there are plenty of photos out there in cyber world, but these mean more to me).
Here are the photos courtesy of Jessica Martone:

Headstone of the Jesuits

Headstone of Julia Elba and Celina Ramos

A Yellow Rose

Friday, July 25, 2014

All About "Ellacu"

Without a doubt there is a lot of information about Ignacio Ellacuría Beascoechea. For no matter where he was, Ellacuría was well known in the society whether it be at UCA, Quito, Madrid, at the Vatican, Austria, or the United States. In 1982, Ellacuría visited Chicago and was given an honorary doctorate by Loyola University. Professor Tom Sheehan of Loyola thought that by giving Ellacuría such an honor would improve Ellacuría's public image in hopes of reducing the death threats that the Salvadoran Army was making against the Priest. Thus, it was Ellacuría's time at Loyola and the tapes that were discovered hidden in the archives of his visit that sparked this project.

Born in Spain on November 9,1930 and one of five sons, Ignacio Ellacuría  was an incredibly gifted man. As a rather reserved student, his teachers did not believe he would aspire to anything extraordinary (if only they knew...).  On September 14, 1947 he joined the Society of Jesus and begun his novitiate as a Jesuit of Loyola in El Salvador. His education did not end at Santa Tecla, he further learned about classical languages, humanities, and philosophy in Quito, Ecuador (1949-1955) and studied under humanities professor Father Aurelio Espionoza Pólit. Before his excursion to Europe, Ellacuría taught philosophy in the seminary of San José de la Montaña in San Salvador. Then from 1958-1962 he studied under Karl Rahner, a Jesuit theologian at Innsburck, Austria. On July 26, 1961 he was ordained a priest. Ellacuría received his doctoral studies of philosophy at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain while working with the well known philosopher Xavier Zubiri from 1962-1967. While in Madrid, Ellacuría participated in student lead strike at the University of Comillas against the conservatism of the theology classes. The Vatican took notice of the protest and Ellacuría's involvement. Ellacuría returned to El Salvador and began working at Universidad Centroamerican, José Simeón Cañas (UCA) as a professor of philosophy and theology...

This is a snip-it of what the biography that I am composing of Ignacio Ellacuría will look like. As of now, there are a lot of lists of dates so I am working on how to make it more appealing to readers. My mission for the rest of the day will be to complete his biography as well as three others.

Getting closer to the end!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

More than Memorable Dates

The title of this post is to reflect of the main goal that I am going to achieve for Professor Dina Berger's project; I want to compose biographies that reflect more than just basic dates of the six Jesuits and Julia&Celina Ramos. All eight were individuals who led important lives not just at the Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas" (UCA) but in surrounding communities and countries as well. As an amateur historian, I have been digging deep into the lives of eight individuals who were killed because of their beliefs (Julia and Celina were killed because they were potential witnesses) in helping those who have been victimized by their own country. They are martyrs and deserve well written paragraphs depicting their lives. To do this, I have been triple checking dates and information using multiple reliable sources because-let me make this clear- I do not want to write incorrect information for that would be doing a dishonor to these victims. What I am going to do for the remained of this post is to give a little sneak peak of information on the victims as well as a photo (courtesy of myself) of Loyola's Martyrs Wall...

Ignacio Ellacuría Beascoechea, S.J.
DOB: November 9, 1930 in Portugalete, Spain
Known: philosopher, theologian, outspoken intellectual of human rights
Nickname: "Ellacu"
Studied: classical languages, humanities, philosophy in Quito, Ecuador
theological studies in Innsbruck, Austria
Ph.D. Philosophy from Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain

Amando López Quintana, S.J.
DOB: February 6, 1936 in Burgos, Spain
Known: philosopher, theologian, public speaker, extremely friendly
Studied: classical, humanities, philosophy in Quito, Ecuador
theology in Dublic, Ireland
Ph.D. Theology in Rome, Italy (started in Strasburg, France)

Joaquín López y López, S.J.
DOB: August 16, 1918 in Resume, El Salvador
He was the only Jesuit killed who was a native of El Salvador
Known: theologian, Founder of Fe y Alegría
Studied: Jesuit Seminary in Spain
classical, humanities, philosophy in El Paso, Texas

Ignacio Martín-Baró, S.J
DOB: November 7, 1942 in Valladolid, Spain
Known: scholar, social psychologist, philosopher, theologies
Nickname: "Padre Nacho"
Studied: classical languages, humanities in Quito, Ecuador
philosophy, humanities in Bogotá, Colombia
theology in Frankfurt, Germany
psychology at UCA
Ph.D. Psychology from University of Chicago, USA
His Thesis: population density in El Salvador and the psychology of the 'enslaved' due to the influences of "Big Brother" in the North

Segundo Montes Mozo, S.J.
DOB: May 15, 1933 in Valladolid, Spain
Known: scholar, philosopher, theologian, educator, sociologist, human rights activist, informal advisor to Congressman Joe Moakley of Massachusetts 
Nickname: "Zeus"
Studied: classical humanities in Quito, Ecuador
Ph.D. Social Anthropolgy from Universidad Complutense in Madrid, Spain

Juan Ramón Moreno Pardo, S.J.
DOB: August 29, 1933 in Villatuerta, Spain
Known: scholar, theologian, found of Ignatian Center of Central American, founder of the Center of Theological Reflection at UCA
Studied: classical humanities in Quito, Ecuador
theology at University of St. Louis Missouri, USA
Ignatian spirituality in Rome, Italy

Celina Mariset Ramos--------------------------------------Julia Elba Ramos
DOB: February 21, 1973 in Jayaque, El Salvador-------- March 5, 1947 in Santiago de Maria, El Salvador
Occupation: high school student at José Damian Villacorta Institute----------------UCA housekeeper&cook

Father and Husband- Obdulio Ramos who was the gardener of UCA. He planted a circle of six red rose bushes for the Jesuits and two yellow rose bushes in the center of the circle for his wife and daughter at the site of the massacre.