Did you know?– over one million Americans are first or second generation Salvadorans! My friend Maria is one of them.

, , ,During the 1980’s (1979 to 1992) many young citizens of El Salvador in Central America made their way to the United States. They sought sanctuary from the prevailing tactics of torturing, killing, or kidnapping young adults,  who mostly sympathized with the popular anti-government rebels.

, , ,After seeing her older siblings become victims of the government militia, she made a tough choice. She would flee to ensure at least one surviving child in her family. So somehow, over twenty years ago, she got to this country  and made a life for herself.  She was able to comfort and even help her aging mother.

. . .My friend’s courage moved me to ask whether she would sit for a portrait. Amazingly she agreed. May this tribute express in some little way the power she carries in my eyes.

. . .My hope is also to create a full-color portrait of Maria, in a somewhat different view, in the future. I feel I have hardly begun my task. (Other missing siblings did eventually make themselves known to the family although nothing could truly tell what they had suffered.)