DIA de la AFRODESCENDENCIA SALVADORENA 2014
DIA de la AFRODESCENDENCIA SALVADORENA 2014
EL SALVADOR, CENTRAL AMERICA
Zacatecoluca and Sonsonate, El Salvador.
by Hugo R. Miller aka Hugeaux
Transcribed from a 50 page hand written journal
(in English and Spanish translations)
My apology for the typographical errors
Registered with the United States of America Copyright Office of The Library of Congress. USA.
Library of Congress, USA Registration # TXu001926734
Copyright Hugo R. Miller aka Hugeaux All Rights Reserved.
“Making history does not have to be a big splash in the ocean.
It can be a pebble dropped in a stream.....Hugo R. Miller aka Hugeaux”
August 27, 2014
6:15pm. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. USA
I had a six hour wait. I am writing this entry while sitting in the Fort Lauderdale International airport. I am very excited about this journey, because I am traveling on a mission. The mission is to broaden the African history in El Salvador. It has taken me several months to strategize this “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena Festival.” I am excited to meet these new colleagues. Tomorrow, I have 3 missions; (1) To drop the letter Kofi Nkrumah (Humanitas Afrika) of Czech Republic, to the Czech Republic consulate in San Salvador. (2) To drop by the Art Museum in San Salvador (MARTA) to tell them about “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena” and try to get them to be apart of the 2015 festivities. Also, to talk to them concerning building an African Art collection. (3) To drop by the American Embassy in San Salvador and introduce myself, and the reason, I am here and for their assistance in the future.
August 28, 2014
2:15am. San Salvador, El Salvador
17 hours of travel and waiting. I finally made it to the Hotel Villa Florencia Centro. This is the same hotel I stayed in last year, my first time in San Salvador. I am extremely, extremely tired.
6:30am. Hotel Villa Florencia Centro, San Salvador.
Much has not changed about the hotel. I slept for 4 hours. I had an interesting conversation with the taxi driver last night. I asked him, why is there a tourist problem in El Salvador and I expected to hear the same reaction; violence. This is not true. Violence is in all the world. I asked him has any major American musicians ever had a concert in San Salvador. He said never. This has made me wonder. Maybe something can be done. The streets are teeming with horns and cars. Today is my big day to introduce myself to the embassies, here in San Salvador. I shall take a morning walk to reacquaint myself with San Salvador and to search for the embassies. I shall then return to the hotel, change my clothes and knock on their doors. I understand that it is suppose to be another rainy day, however I am prepared with my Alaskan umbrella.
2:00pm. Museum of Art of El Salvador (MARTA).
I am writing this entry while sitting in the Museum of Art of El Salvador. What a very interesting morning. I caught the bus to the Czech Republic consulate to deliver the letter from Kofi Nkrumah (Prague) to them. I was received by an associate of the consulate who did not speak English. As I translated the letter to her in Spanish, I began to see her face lighten up when I mentioned that an organization in Prague, Czech Republic was supporting the “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena” festival, to be held Saturday, August 30, 2014 in Zacatecoluca. She thanked me and said she would forward the letter to the ambassador. I caught the bus back to the hotel to change my clothes into appropriate attire, before I started to make my way to the American Embassy in El Salvador. I have to make two connections. As I arrived at the American embassy, I saw that it was heavily guarded. I had to pass through two security cells, before I was finally allowed to enter. I, was directed to speak to the Press Attache’; Molly Sanchez-Crowe. We talked in the foyer of the American Embassy in El Salvador. I was there to spread awareness of “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena”. She was very receptive and was amazed that this event was happening. However, the time was too short to PR anything, however, she gathered much information concerning the event and myself. It was very good dialogue, as I mentioned how I would like the American embassy to be apart in the future “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena” events. As we said our goodbyes, I assured her that I would stay in contact with her and develop a relationship. After all these meetings, I am beginning to feel like a diplomat. After the American embassy meeting, I caught another bus to the Museum of Art of El Salvador (MARTA), to try and discuss with them, to get them on board and create an African Art collection for the museum.
5:00pm. Hotel Villa Florencia Centro, San Salvador.
I am sitting and writing in this diary at exactly the same spot I was in February 2013. The same room #26, looking out upon that beautiful mountain. Well, the last part of today’s task is completed. I had a talk with the Museum of Art of El Salvador (MARTA), director of programing: Rafael Vasquez. I handed him the paper program of
“Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena” 2014 and he was very receptive, I also spoke with him about creating an African Art collection for the museum. I told him that we would like to have MARTA to be apart of 2015 “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena” festival. I mentioned to him how many Africans want to be apart of the 2015 festivities and this would help him network with many Africans. I did most of all the speaking today, because this is a new area for all the organizations. I spent 7 hours of today campaigning “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena”. I have made some very important contacts. As I sit here and watch the Pacific clouds roll over the mountains, getting ready for rain, it makes me very proud to represent African history to its Salvadoran roots. Each one of the contacts today mentioned that they shall pass all information onward to their bosses. I am very focused on remembering that the purpose of this trip is to delegate “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena” to its Salvadoran roots. I mentioned Afro-Oceania to all my contacts today, which really highlighted their learning. I did one photography shoot, as I saw the Olympic Rings monument in San Salvador. It is not as hot as it was in February and I am enjoying the cool Salvadoran breeze. Tomorrow, I shall take the journey to Zacatecoluca to introduce myself to the mayor. I shall take a good look around the Jose Simeon Canas Plaza to see how we can utilize it for the future.
August 29, 2014
6:30am. Hotel Villa Florencia El Centro, San Salvador
I slept for 11 hours last night. The El Salvadoran night rains really made it very tranquil. I could hear the rhythm of the raindrops tapping on the terra cotta tiles. I set out on the terrace to listen and watch the night rains. I was told that this time of year the rains come at night and there is sun all day. Well, today I visit the mayor’s office of Zacatecoluca. The mayor’s name is Dr. Francisco Salvador Hirezi. I shall take a small walk around el centro San Salvador, to familiarize myself with the area, again, before I catch the bus to catch another bus to Zacatecoluca, La Paz, El Salvador. The air is so fresh, here, and I am in the city.
8:00am. San Salvador
What an interesting morning. Breakfast this morning was fresh squeezed goat milk from a real goat on the corner, café and a donut.
4:00pm. San Salvador
What an interesting day. I took the buses from San Salvador to Zacatecoluca. The trip is two hours one way. I was greeted at the Zacatecoluca mayor’s office, by his assistant Mauricio Villatoro Alvarez. We spoke for about one hour. He mentioned that the mayor’s office had been receiving my emails, but did not read them because the receptionist does not speak English. He was very receptive about “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena” and I spoke with him about making Zacatecoluca the home town for the annual event. He was receptive to everything I was saying, because he has to relay this to the mayor. He set up an official appointment on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 to talk with the mayor. The mayor shall be the first to speak at the event tomorrow. I mentioned how this event shall be bigger and bigger each year. I also mentioned that there was international interest, who wants to be apart of the event. Visiting the Zacatecoluca mayor’s office was the final task on the delegation process before “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena”. This campaign has truly picked up speed, as many people in El Salvador want to be apart of this. I am mentally forming a committee for the event of 2015, plus sponsors. When I return to the hotel, I got in contact with my colleague Gustavo Arturo Martinez. He briefed me a little concerning the event tomorrow. He mentioned, he told everyone that I am in San Salvador. The storm clouds from the Pacific are starting to roll in. It soon will be getting ready for the evening rains. Sunday and Monday, seems to be my free days and I do want to go to the Pacific Ocean. I also want to go to Sonsonate, El Salvador. Sonsonate is mentioned in Afro-Salvadoran history as being the other city besides Zacatecoluca, of once having a strong African population. However, I want to meet with the members of Afrodescendientes en El Salvador on Sunday to critique the Saturday event. On Tuesday, it will be very interesting to make this historic appointment with the mayor of Zacatecoluca. Like always, so much to do and see with so little time. After the event Saturday, I shall just roll with the flow. There is one thing I am sure of, and that is, I shall swim in the Pacific Ocean. Well, tomorrow is the big day. I shall get a good night’s rest and leave very early for Zacatecoluca in the morning. I shall depart for San Salvador around 6:00am and shall be in Zacatecoluca around 8:00am. Everyone else shall be coming soon after. The mayor is due to speak at 9:00am.
August 30, 2014.
6:00am. San Salvador
Today is the Day!!!! I shall catch the two city buses to meet my colleagues in Zacatecoluca. This is going to be a great day. I slept for ten hours last night, and I am really refreshed. I shall search for some flowers to place at the monument. I am very well dressed for the occasion. The mayor of Zacatecoluca; Dr. Francisco Salvador Hirezi shall arrive between 9 – 10:00am. I hope my colleagues meet me early. We shall find a spot to hang the banner. Later, we shall take a group photograph. I hope the singer Alvaro Torres drop by and pay us a visit. Well, it is time for me to leave. I shall get café at the south bus terminal, before boarding the second bus for Zacatecoluca.
4:30pm. San Salvador
WE MADE EL SALVADORAN HISTORY!!!! WE MADE EL SALVADORAN HISTORY!!!
The Official Program
Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena 2014
in Zacatecoluca, La Paz, El Salvador. Central America
Program created by
Wolfgang Effenberger – Director: Direccion Nacional De Patrimonio Tangible E Intangible Cultural. Secretaria de Cultura de la Presidencia (El Salvador)
Margarita Garcia: Programa Fortalecimiento a la Gestion Cultural.
Secretaria de Cultura de la Presidencia (El Salvador)
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Zacatecoluca, La Paz, El Salvador. Central America
9:00am – Jose Simeon Canas Plaza
Commentator: Gustavo Arturo Martinez.
Address by Mayor of Zacatecoluca: Dr. Francisco Salvador Hirezi
10:00am - Welcome and allusive words: Hugo R. Miller (USA)
10:15am - Zacatecoluca African Descent: a brief historical overview:
Wolfgang Effenberger Lopez
10:30am – House of Culture
Commentator: Rafael Moreira
Alfredo Ramirez: The Marquis: a case study for slavery in colonial San Salvador
11:00am - Roxana Portillo: María de la O woman, witch and slave
11:30am - Discussion
12:00pm - Opening of Exhibition
12:30pm - Documentary: Parts of African Indians in El Salvador
1:30pm - Visit to Parque Jose Simeon Canas
Supported by Secretaria de Cultura de la Presidencia Gobierna de El Salvador, The El Salvador Embassy in USA, AFROES and The city of Zacatecoluca, Department of La Paz, El Salvador
4:30pm. San Salvador
The “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena” event was a huge success. All the committee members were present: Wolfgang Effenberger Lopez, Margarita Garcia, Gustavo Artuto Martinez, Rafael Moreira and myself. We all gathered at the Jose Simeon Canas Plaza for the first part of the festival. The mayor of Zacatecoluca: Dr. Francisco Salvador Hirezi spoke and welcomed us to Zacatecoluca. He also gave us a brief history of the abolitionist Jose Simeon Canas. His assistant Mauricio Villatoro mentioned that he spoke French and I began to talk with him in French. I addressed the audience and welcomed them from the United States of America. I, also read my letter to the African and Indian ancestors.
[The Two Speeches by Hugo R. Miller aka Hugeaux presented at Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena,
on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at Jose Simeon Canas Plaza in Zacatecoluca, La Paz, El Salvador. Central America]
MY SPEECH FOR AFRO-SALVADOREAN DAY IN EL SALVADOR
AUGUST 30, 2014
Greeting from the United States of America to the country of El Salvador. What a pleasure it is to be here to speak to you. In 2013 I had the privilege of finding something that was hidden in this beautiful country. It happened by an accident. I did extensive research on the history of Afro-Salvadoreans, with very Little results, in preparation for my first trip to El Salvador. However, I decided to travel to El Salvador and take a look. After arriving in El Salvador, I was surprised by the beauty of the country, but could find very Little African culture present…until my last day.
I remember sitting in my hotel room with a map on the bed, trying to decide what would be my last trip in El Salvador. I decided that my plan would be each day to take a trip in all different directions. I have travel north, east, west but not south. I located a town called Zacatecoluca and decided to go.
As I made the journey from San Salvador to Zacatecoluca, I was amazed by El Salvador’s beauty. When I reached Zacatecoluca I decided to take a walk around. I went to the center plaza and passed by all the monuments, until I noticed this special one. At first, I thought it was an Indian from afar, until I took a longer and harder look. As my Afro-Salvadorean Diaries indicated…I went “ I found it…I found it!!!!
I began to notice all the African and Indian feature of the monument. I was most amazed that this monument was kept a secret to the world…until now. I took many close up photographs of the monument, each time saying to myself “Africa is Here, Africa is Here”. When I returned to the United States of America and placed the photographs on YouTube, the video went viral. Many El Salvadoreans, thanked me for showing them this part of their history which they are now getting to know. Many people as far as Alaska and Africa were thanking me for this hidden history which is now known.
At first, I was so amazed by the discovery, that I did not pay attention to the African feature of the monument, until recently. After studying the monument I have come to the conclusión that these are feature from Africa-Oceania or the Africa – Pacific.
Much of my knowledge on Africa has been based on West/Central African culture and its relationship to slavery in the United States of America and Caribbeans. However on the other side of the coin, there is a lot of unknown history concerning East African and South Asia/China culture of centuries ago. These are the ancestors who inhabitied the Pacific and Indian Ocean.
As I stare hard at the African-Indian monument in Zacatecoluca, El Salvador, I can see the strong features of the African/Asian culture. These are the Pacific Islands of: Vanuatu, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Tahiti, New Caledonia, etc…One interesting theory with very Little research; is how El Salvador sits on the Pacific and centuries ago how these African/Asian sailors sailed the Pacific and visited Central America.
I contacted Mr. Wolfgang Lopez, as he was one of the first people in El Salvador to thank me for this unknown Afro-Salvadorean history which appeared on YouTube in 2013. We spoke via Facebook, and I decided that we should start an “Afro-Salvadorean Day” in El Salvador and that Zacatecoluca should be the place, because of the African-Indian monument there. We both agreed. However who know that 1 year later we would see this happen.
On August 30, 2014 or the last Saturday of August “Afro-Salvadorean Day”, I shall make a personal pilgrimage from The United States of America to Zacatecoluca, El Salvador and place flowers and candles at the African-Indian monument in Zacatecoluca in respect to all the African-Indian Ancestors whose lives we shall remember.
I am honored to present to the world this great history of El Salvador, which the world now knows. Thank you, the people of El Salvador, for allowing me to be apart of your Nation’s History.
Hugo R. Miller
Dia de la Afrodescendenia Salvadorena
LETTER TO OUR AFRICAN-INDIAN ANCESTORS
To our African Ancestry: It has been over half a millennium, 500 years, since the first African ancestors has been documented as arriving in The Americas from The Atlantic Ocean from Africa. You traveled over six thousand miles (6,000) to make The Americas your new home.
It has been over one millennium, without documentation that you arrived to The Americas from Oceania (Pacific). You traveled over fifteen thousand miles (15,000) across The Pacific from Africa to make The Americas your new home.
To our Indian Ancestry; it has been over two millennium, with and without documentation, that you have welcomed these new people to your communities in The Americas. Your hospitality and culture has enriched the lives of many ancestries who had to adjust to their new homes. Thank You.
It is an honor to make this yearly pilgrimage to show my respect, for my spirit to be well and alive today. I shall travel over one thousand miles, from North America to El Salvador, Central America to join others to pay respect and honor to you, our African and Indian Ancestors.
My dear African – Indian ancestors, your spirit and wisdom are gifts. These are gifts, which we must return to further the lives and destinies of our generations today. Your ancestral karma has brought about changes, which have built stronger appreciation of your humanitarian generosity amongst the people on the planet.
Your positive, meaningful and personal activities have elevated our spirits concerning the intelligent generosities you have placed in our paths. This week your spirits shall be present to bring The Americas and Africa to this place in El Salvador, Central America.
Our African - Indian ancestry, this pilgrimage shall be an altar of honor and respect to your strong heritages which exists. As we light candles and place flowers and gifts at your altar, we shall reflect on the empowerment, nourishment and healing of your everyday lives.
Your blood and spirit are the foundation of sacrifices, which became reservoirs of spirituality and humanity. Dia de la Afrodescendenia Salvadorena is a day which we all can reflect upon as we all recognize that we are of one race….The Human Race.
Thank you our African – Indian Ancestors.
Hugo R. Miller
Dia de la Afrodescendenia Salvadorena
4:30pm. San Salvador
Gustavo Arturo Martinez and Rafael Moreira were the commentator of the events. Next, Wolfgang Effenberger Lopez addressed the audience and thanked all. We then take a huge group photograph around the monument and the mayor joined us. Margarita Garcia and I placed the candles and flowers at the feet of the African Indian monument. What was very special was that another African American was present with us. His name was Brian Jackson and he is a student at the University of Southern California and doing some internship work at a university in El Salvador. After the introduction on the Plaza Jose Simeon Canas we moved to the Cultural Center in Zacatecoluca. There we heard speeches and comments on the history of African Salvadoran history, through slavery: Alfredo Ramirez: The Marquis: a case study for slavery in colonial San Salvador and Roxana Portillo: María de la O woman, witch and slave. We took many photographs of this 3 hour event. This is the material we needed as our prototype. The world will pay witness to this historic event, which happened in El Salvador, Central America. As I talked to my colleagues, they mentioned that this was an event very much needed. They mentioned that they have had ideas, but nothing happened. It took an African American to travel over one thousand miles to make it happen. I can not mention to you the many thanks I have received from my colleagues. Their hearts were filled with joy and they saw that this festival broke the barrier of criticism and made history. Alba Emperatriz Valle de Guerrero, the director of the Cultural Center in Zacatecoluca was very pleased with the event, because nothing like this has ever happened in that institute. After the event, I gathered all five of us together. I expressed to them that we are the blood of this vessel. I mentioned to them that we have made history and next year will be our year to bring the world to El Salvador. I am very proud of this committee. They put together a program despite of the skeptics. They orchestrated the program by including the youth to attend. They are very proud of their Salvadoran history and want to share a piece of their history with the world. Their determination to make this event, historic, went far beyond historic. It reached epic. We were very tired but our enthusiasm kept the momentum going. After the event we decided to stop at a restaurant a couple of miles out of Zacatecoluca. I had; Sopa Pata (cow soup). We talked while the children played in the pool. This was the final wind down we needed on this historic day. I mentioned to them, now that we are official and have the stamp of the mayor of Zacatecoluca’s approval, our work has just begun. I mentioned that next year we must seek out sponsors and entertainment to make Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena a family full day. They agreed. El Salvador will no longer be viewed as a country with no African history, as today validated it. Saturday, August 30, 2014 was the official day, in which, the country of El Salvador accepted the Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena . It is documented and photographed. The youth was there to carry this importance with their generation. I delivered my speeches on the Jose Simeon Canas plaza in English, but I addressed the audience in the Casa de la Cultura in Spanish. As I sit here and write in the diary from the balcony of my hotel room, looking out at the inspirational mountain, I am full with joy. Joy in knowing that my humanitarian nature has become international. Joy in knowing that El Salvador has a beautiful African Salvadoran history. Joy in having made so many new colleagues. I am very tired, however I can do it again, tomorrow. Tomorrow, I shall take my first vacation.
I shall travel to the beach of La Libertad and swim in the cold Pacific Ocean. This part of my mission is almost complete. I have two days to do some photo-documenting. Sunday, I shall relax at the beach in La Libertad, El Salvador. Monday, I shall take a trip to Sonsonate, El Salvador. Tuesday, is the official meeting with the mayor of Zacatecoluca: Dr. Francisco Salvador Hirezi. Thank you ancestors for making the day an important in the history of El Salvador.
PS: I forgot to mention, yesterday, when I delivered my welcome speech in Zacatecoluca, I gave thanks to my Indian ancestors. There were applauds for me thanking them in English and Spanish. Afterwards, I continued reading my speech.
August 31, 2014. San Salvador
I slept for a good 10 hours last night. I remembered what Wolfgang told me about a mountain we passed on the way back to San Salvador from Zacatecoluca, he said this mountain was an historic mountain concerning African existence in El Salvador. He told me that back in history many Africans lived in the mountains, but now there is no evidence of their history. I shall take a walk around el centro San Salvador before I journey to the beach in La Libertad. I really need to relax, today, and gather my thoughts. I have a mental proposal to give to the mayor of Zacatecoluca on Tuesday. I shall deliver the verbal proposal to him in French. It did not rain last night and the morning is quite brisk. I have a strong feeling that the Pacific Ocean shall be very cold, but on the other hand, it could be warm. However, this is my first day of my vacation. I shall enjoy this day. Caio!!!
7:15am San Salvador
I took a walk around el centro San Salvador. I purchased some honey and bread and returned to the hotel to prepare for the beach in La Libertad. As I can recall, it is about one and a half hours trip from San Salvador to La Libertad. I am ready for this day of relaxation. Next stop La Libertad.
4;00pm. San Salvador
What a relaxing day. I spent 5 hours in the Pacific Ocean on the beach in La Libertad. It appears nothing had changed. The street corner where I got the dollar Salvadoran cheese steak was still there. I spent most of the time in the Pacific, body surfing. I love the waves of the Pacific, because their height can vary, compared to the consistency of the Atlantic waves. I took an hour break to go and get something to eat and I returned to the Pacific Ocean. The water was warm and the aquatic pools on the beach, water was hot. It felt like a warm sauna. I completely relaxed. As, I was body surfing I noticed that I had a small audience gathering at a restaurant watching me. They kept saying “¿Cuál es el nombre de lo que él está haciendo?”…”What is the name of that, which he is doing. Also, I kept hearing the “él es Polinesio”…”He is Polvnesia”. I really relaxed. The bus ride, up and back, from San Salvador is very scenic, crowded, but tranquil. The mountain air is very fresh and cool. I feel a little coldness in the air this evening. El Centro, San Salvador, on Sunday is quite quiet. Shops are closed up. Only the street vendors are out and hustling. There are two beach spots in La Libertad, which I am familiar with and they are both by el centro La Libertad. One is very busy, while the other one, which I like, is almost always empty. The black sands still remind me of Jacmel, Haiti. I love seeing the Pacific waves smash against the large rocks on the ocean. This is a sight I do not see in northern Florida. When the waves hit the rocks, it looks like the rocks shoot off some kind of spray. What a very tranquil day. Tomorrow, I shall visit Sonsonate, El Salvador. Sonsonate is another historic African Salvadoran town. This shall be my only photo-documentary photography of the trip. I am already making mental plans for Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena International 2015.
September 1, 2014. San Salvador
I slept for a good 10 hours last night. Well, today I shall photo-document Sonsonate, El Salvador. Sonsonate is the other town in El Salvador which is mentioned to have has a strong African population in the 1600’s and 1700’s. I shall be headed north in the direction of Guatemala, Central America. It shall be another sunny and cool morning. I shall get a cup of coffee and pastry at the west bus terminal in San Salvador, before I board the bus for Sonsonate.
9:00am. Sonsonate, El Salvador
I came across this sign while photographing along a canal way from el centro, Sonsonate. It is completely hidden. The sign reads:
LA ONG Movemento Africa ’70
la comuidad Julupe y la Alcaldia Municipal de Sonsonate con el apoyo financiero del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de Italia, en el marco del proyecto; “Asentamientos Urbanos Sostenibles en el municipio de Sonsonate – AID9593 / EL SALVADOR” han ejecutado La obra de mitigación: “Construccion de 100 Metros de acera de mampostería de piedra para mejorar la Ruta de evacuación, construcción de 8 metros de muro tipo mampostería de piedra y 12 metros cúbicos de muro tipo gavión para mitigar desbordamiento del rio Julupe en la comunidad Julupe
The NGO Movemento Africa '70
Julupe comuidad and the Municipal City Hall of Sonsonate with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, in the framework of the project; "Sustainable Urban Settlements in the town of Sonsonate - AID9593 / EL SALVADOR" have implemented the mitigation work: "Construction of 100 meters of sidewalk stone masonry to improve evacuation route, construction of 8 meter long stone masonry wall and 12 cubic meters of gabion wall type to mitigate overflow of the river community Julupe
9:45am. Sonsonate, El Salvador.
I am writing this entry under a cool breeze tree on a street corner in Sonsonate. Well, I arrived in Sonsonate after an one hour bus ride from San Salvador. The cost was only seventy five cents. At the terminal in Sonsonate, I had to take another bus to el centro Sonsonate, which is another five minutes. The city park was closed and there was a barrier around the entire park, due to renovation. I decided to walk up the hill. I arrived at a small peasant neighborhood of handmade houses on a stream. The stream had a sidewalk and I decided to follow the trail. Along the trail was an indication that Africa has assisted the town of Sonosnate; called La ONG Movimento Africa ’70. This was truly a surprise, because the African population in Sonsonate is .001 percent. I began to photograph along the stream. Sonsonate is a town similar to Zacatecoluca and San Salvador with vendors, everywhere. The cost of food is a little less here, than San Salvador. This is similar to El Congo, El Salvador, with me walking and walking. I am getting tired. I think I shall stay here another hour before I head back to San Salvador. There are many dark skin Indians here. Sonsonate appears to be a little larger than Zacatecoluca.
4:00pm. San Salvador
Well, I made it back to San Salvador. It was a much longer trip, because we picked up a lot of people. The connection to the bus to el centro San Salvador was very smooth. Okay, I have an audience. I am writing in this diary and the school several streets over, have students who are all packed on the top stairs, staring at me and going “este el negro famoso”. The crowd is getting larger. I am touched that I could be an inspiration to the youth. Okay, I must say, I found another discovery of African history hidden in Sonsonate. The modern sign is so hidden that no one knows this. I believe most of the town of Sonsonate does not recognize it. The African discovery was truly a surprise. I had to travel into the unknown parts of Sonsonate to discovery this history. I shall do much research when I return to the USA. This has been a fun and educational day. I remembered having the same reaction when I discovered the African and Indian monument in Zacatecoluca. I went “wow”. Well, the heat has returned to El Salvador. When I arrived back at the hotel, I took a cold shower and took a brisk nap. I woke up and took another cold shower. I truly like this kind of weather. I truly enjoy the sun and very hot temperatures. Sonsonate has a lot of hidden African research, which needs to be discovered. I tried to contact Wolfgang Effenberger Lopez, but with no reply. I shall try again tomorrow. Today, I saw my first volcano up close. As we were driving from San Salvador to Sonsonate, it just popped up and there was a smaller one behind it. It is the Izalco Volcano. I and all the passengers were so mesmerized by its beauty and deadliness, that I forgot to take a picture of it. It is extremely beautiful. Everyone’s eyes were focused at the top, to see if we see any smoke. It is truly beautiful. We passed by many acres of sugar cane fields. Okay, tomorrow I have my official meeting with the mayor of Zacatecoluca. It is interesting to see if we shall have this meeting in French.
September 2, 2014
6:30am. San Salvador.
I slept a good twelve hours last night. There was a heavy rain last night. I believe this was one of the reasons I slept so well. Well, today I go back to Zacatecoluca for my meeting with the mayor. This shall be my third trip to Zacatecoluca. This entire trip has turned out to be very rewarding. I believe this shall be my last stay at Hotel Villa Florencia El Centro. The accommodations are moderate (no hot water), however their service need a newer look. Last year, the service was great, they over extended themselves. This year the same people, however they tend to do things when they want to do things. However, next year is a new year. I am truly thinking about applying for Directorship at the USA Embassy in San Salvador and telling them that the mayor of Zacatecoluca would be welcoming “Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena”. No representative from the USA embassy came. I shall address this issue when I return to the states. The sun is appearing in the sky and I shall have one hour, before I make my way to the south terminal to catch the bus to Zacatecoluca. I do not have a list to present to the mayor, however I have a mental proposal, in which, to bring more people of the world to Zacatecoluca to make the event international. When I return to the states, I shall gather my thoughts before I began to start this day’s adventure. My meeting with the mayor is at 11:00am, so I shall leave San Salvador at 9:00am and arrive in Zacatecoluca around 10:15am.
12:00pm. Zacatecoluca, El Salvador.
The meeting with the mayor Dr. Francisco Salvador Hirezi went very well. We spoke concerning the event for 2015 and we spoke mainly in French. Dr. Hirezi, is truly an humanitarian. I am glad I had the privilege to knowing him. Sonia Umanzor mentioned that he is a great man and this is very true. The event for next year is official. It shall always be the last Saturday of August. August 29, 2015.
4:00pm. San Salvador.
Mayor Dr. Francisco Salvador Hirezi speaks good French. I really enjoyed our conversation. He actually speaks three languages, as I know of: Spanish, French and English. This was the first time I conducted Spanish business in French. I kept remembering our conversation on my journey back from Zacatecoluca to San Salvador. I can truly say that I am home sick, because I do miss my yard and sitting under the trees. I have been confined to this hotel room for 6 days and I am tired. Well, it is set 2015 Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena is internationally; Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena International. I and the mayor’s office agreed on it. He also told me that the president of El Salvador was in Zacatecoluca the following day, after our event. It would be great to get the president to come to our event. We have 3 venues for next year’s event. Everything shall be planned very well. Well, I return to the USA tomorrow morning. All the seeds I wanted to plant in El Salvador, have all taken root. I shall water them back in the USA. This has been a very delegated campaign, to create Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena in El Salvador, with much success. I was truly amazed when I returned back to Zacatecoluca mayor’s office, how all the people greeted me as Mr. Miller, the man who created Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena in Zacatecoluca. They all came by the office to wave and say hello. It makes me proud to know that my humanitarian deeds have become international. The mayor’s assistant Mauricio Villatoro mentioned that African drums have never beat in the town of Zacatecoluca. I shall make this happen.
DAY #8 FINAL DAY
September 3, 2014. San Salvador International Airport. El Salvador.
The bus ride from the city to the airport was sixty cents and took one hour. This was a very good campaign, to introduce El Salvador to the world of Africa. All connections went smoothly. I shall like to thank the Secretary of Culture: Dr. Ramon Rivas of El Salvador Department of Culture. I shall like to thank all the co-founders of Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena: Wolfgang Effenberger Lopez, Margarita Garcia, Gustavo Arturo Martinez and Rafael Moreira, who are the blood and sweat of this organization. We did it!!!, despite the odds. I shall like to thank Sonia Umanzor, director of community affairs at The El Salvador Embassy in USA. You are the backbone, that gave this event support. I shall like to thank the mayor of Zacatecoluca; Dr. Francisco Salvador Hirezi and his assistant Mauricio Villatoro who welcomed the Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena event to their beautiful town as history was being made in El Salvador. Thank you the people of El Salvador whose hospitality and good spirits, welcomed this event and the spirits of the ancestors. I shall like to thank Mr. Kofi Nkrumah and Humanitas Afrika (Ghana / Czech Republic), who was the inspiration behind this campaign. This campaign started a strong relationship between Africa and Central America. I am still numb by the effects, that this event has made El Salvadoran history. We still have a very long ways to go, however, by taking small steps we shall achieve greatness. As I bring a closing to the campaign, I can see this is the start of something very big. I have a true nature of bringing people of all nationalities together. If I forgot to thank anyone, rest assured, that I shall always remember your support. Thank you all for making Dia de la Afrodescendencia Salvadorena an historic event.
“The making history does not have to be a big splash in the ocean.
It can be a pebble dropped in a stream. It is only important, only if it is documented, well…..Hugo R. Miller aka Hugeaux”