Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Salvadoran Refugees Audio Cassette Collection
2017.010  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (54.62 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
 
Table of contents What's This?
Description
The Mesa Grande refugee camp was located 30 miles from the border of El Salvador in Honduras. Over 10,000 refugees lived there in 1983, mainly children, women and elderly people from the rural provinces of Cabañas, Chalatenango, and Morazán in northern El Salvador. They had fled into Honduras to escape Salvadoran Army counter-insurgency tactics that included the murder, torture and rape of unarmed peasants and the destruction of entire villages through the burning of houses and crops. Their stories are told through songs and poems which give testimony to their violent past, depict their present life in the refugee camp, and express their strong will to survive and undaunted faith in the future. Firmly rooted in oral traditions, these songs and poems represent the refugees’ collective memory; they document the trauma they endured and insure that the past will not be forgotten. The material was recorded in Mesa Grande by the members of the Latin American folk music group Sabiá (Cindy Harding, Libby Harding, Mari Riddle, and Ericka Verba), who also performed for the refugees during their visit to the camp. Based in Los Angeles, the band was committed to promoting cross-cultural understanding and human rights through song. Founded in 1976 and disbanded in 1989, Sabiá was active in the U.S. solidarity movement with Central America, toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, and recorded three albums.
Background
The Mesa Grande refugee camp was located 30 miles from the border of El Salvador in Honduras. Over 10,000 refugees lived there in 1983, mainly children, women and elderly people from the rural provinces of Cabañas, Chalatenango, and Morazán in northern El Salvador. They had fled into Honduras to escape Salvadoran Army counter-insurgency tactics that included the murder, torture and rape of unarmed peasants and the destruction of entire villages through the burning of houses and crops. Their stories are told through songs and poems which give testimony to their violent past, depict their present life in the refugee camp, and express their strong will to survive and undaunted faith in the future. Firmly rooted in oral traditions, these songs and poems represent the refugees’ collective memory; they document the trauma they endured and insure that the past will not be forgotten. The material was recorded in Mesa Grande by the members of the Latin American folk music group Sabiá (Cindy Harding, Libby Harding, Mari Riddle, and Ericka Verba), who also performed for the refugees during their visit to the camp. Based in Los Angeles, the band was committed to promoting cross-cultural understanding and human rights through song. Founded in 1976 and disbanded in 1989, Sabiá was active in the U.S. solidarity movement with Central America, toured extensively throughout the United States and Canada, and recorded three albums.
Extent
.92 linear ft.
Restrictions
Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.
Availability
Access is available by appointment for Cal State LA student and faculty researchers as well as independent researchers.