Northwest Teacher Member of Panel on El Salvador History

Humanities teacher Suzanne Bottelli will be speaking at a community event called "The Cost of War: Salvadoran Immigration and U.S. Intervention," on Sept. 20, 7:00-8:30 pm, at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. 

"This evening is about multiple generations of Salvadorans coming together from all over the city and connecting," says Suzanne. "It provides a forum to keep the historical memory of the war alive in the younger wave of immigrants." 

Seattle has a large Salvadoran population that largely arrived in two waves, explains Suzanne. The first influx came in the 1980s during the sanctuary movement, coming from the civil war as refugees. The current wave of Salvadoran immigrants arrived more as economic refugees (some still fled violence), but many are not aware of the history of the civil war and the first generation's process. The evening will also focus on the role the U.S. policy has played in shaping the conditions Salvadorans fled. 

"The young Salvadoran-Americans kids here who don't know a lot about the war's history are often the children or grandchildren of those who fled in the 1980's," explains Suzanne. "It is not a story that has been safe to share in El Salvador until recently, and it has not been easy for Salvadoran families to share in the U.S. either." 

Suzanne will be presenting about The Northwest School's trips to El Salvador, in which students partner with SHARE to learn the history of the country's civil war and the refugee experience. She will be joined by Angelina Godoy of the University of Washington's Center for Human Rights, and Claudia Castroa Luna, the city of Seattle's Civic Poet. 

Says Suzanne: "The passing down of memories is really important. Acknowledging the event is part of the healing process, which is still unfolding for many Salvadorans, even though the civil war ended in 1992."