Suffolk University Alumni Magazine 2008/2009 - (Page 36)
TexT//TOM GEARTY imaGes//TOM GEARTY & GARY MOORE iT’S hard TO wrap your brain around el Salvador. even Lonely Planet, which has built an empire writing guides to less traveled roads, seems unsure what direction to take with this country. “falcons and hawks fill the skies above fabulous food festivals and bomb craters,” the online guide states with awkward cheer. “friendly locals like to chat, diverting your gaze from the gangs and refugees to beautiful broad valleys.” Suffolk junior Jeff Pomponi wasn’t quite sure why he decided to go to el Salvador for Alternative Winter Break. “I just wanted to go somewhere different because I knew over the winter break there wouldn’t be anything to do, and I wanted a change,” he says. “once I got to el Salvador, I realized I’m supposed to do this I had a reason to be there that I didn’t know going in.” learning Beyond the claSSrooM in el Salvador INsPIRED bY A LEGACY over the first two weeks of 2008, Pomponi is one of a dozen Suffolk students and five faculty and staff members living and working in el Sitio, a poor rural town in el Salvador's mountainous north, trading time at home between semesters for a service learning project far away. Their primary assignment is to complete construction of the Concha Acoustica (acoustic shell), an outdoor stage and arena for community gatherings, before el Sitio's annual festival for Peace and Social Justice. The students have another, larger purpose beyond digging ditches. They are following in the footsteps of the late Massachusetts Congressman Joe Moakley, Jd '56, a Suffolk alumnus who stands at the crossroads of Boston and Salvadoran history. during the 1980s, as el Salvador was engulfed in a bloody civil war that would claim more than 70,000 lives, Moakley was integral to the enactment of the temporary right of asylum for Salvadoran refugees fleeing the carnage. At the decade's end, he headed a US commission that investigated the murder of six Jesuit priests in San Salvador in 1989. his conclusion that the military high command ordered the killings led to the elimination of American funding to el Salvador and initiated the process that led to peace.  SUFFOLKARTS+SCIENCES//2008/2009 ALUMNI MAGAzINE
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.