The Girl Who Survived the War

The Girl Who Survived the War

I visited a family that is a member of a cooperative, and in the conversation they brought up the big battle that happened in their community of Los Cocos [Quilalí] in 1983. It was “the big war”. Doña Moncha related “that day 14 people died from our side, I am sure another several from the other side. A girl crawled into a hole, but the hole was so small that one foot did not fit, and that is where she was shot. It was a hail of bullets from 8am on. Doña Julia was washing clothes in the creek, on hearing the shooting she fled, but left her her 5 year old girl. I believe that girl survived.”

Hours later I visited a younger family, we talked about their new crop, plantains. In the midst of the conversation, Santos said, “My wife Bernarda is quiet, she lost 6 relatives in just one day; she lost 3 brothers, her father, her uncle and her grandfather”.

“When?”, I asked.

“In the war, in the big battle.”

I looked the woman in the eyes, “What is your Mom´s name?”

“Julia”, she said.

“What? Are you the girl that was saved in the big battle?”

“Yes”, she replied humbly.

“How were you saved?”

“I do not remember, I was just 4 years old. My Mom says that my grandmother dragged me out with her wounded hand.”

I was left speechless. “And your Mom?”

“She is here, now elderly”.

My hand quit writing. Not knowing what to do, I gave her a hug.

Humanity can survive the wars imposed on us.


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