ANY PROJECT of this scale will by necessity be a collective effort. First and foremost, thanks go to Santiago and his fellow compas (comrades) in Morazán for their sacrifices for El Salvador. One component of their efforts was the creation of the original Spanish version of this manuscript, La terquedad del izote. As Santiago will explain, that original manuscript had to be reproduced collectively, thanks to an act of destruction by soldiers in the Salvadoran Army. Since the end of the war in El Salvador, Santiago has committed himself to preserving and sharing the story of that country’s past. His efforts have manifested themselves notably in founding and directing the Museum of Word and Image (Museo de la Palabra y la Imagen—MUPI). The present text is another manifestation of his commitment to preserving historical memory and promoting popular education. If Confucius was right when he said, “Study the past if you would define the future,” then anyone who cares about El Salvador is indebted to Santiago.
The process that led to this translation project began in 2004, when Santiago and Erik Ching discussed the possibility of a mutually beneficial internship between MUPI and Furman University. Their idea became reality with the support of Furman University’s Charles Johnson Center for Engaged Learning and its two internship directors, Dr. Marianne Pierce and Susan Zeiger. They recognized the merits of sending Furman students to MUPI as summer interns and helped secure the necessary financial support from Furman’s undergraduate research program, Furman Advantage. Charlie Nagle was the third intern to work with Santiago. The first two, Rachel Kuck (2005) and Derek Gleason (2007), paved the way.
Santiago would like to thank Erik Ching, whose persistence made possible the completion of this project and its publication as a book. Thanks, of course, to Charlie Nagle and Bill Prince, as well as to Jocelyn Courtney, for their concerted efforts on the translation. Special thanks to Charlie’s nuanced gift for translation and his ability to capture the original text’s voice and tone.
Charlie Nagle acknowledges Dr. A. L. (Bill) Prince. I am forever indebted to him for his continued support and close supervision during this project. Without