Hear My Testimony: Maraia Teresa Tula, Human Rights Activist of El Salvador

By María Teresa Tula; Lynn Stephen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 2

FROM CHILDHOOD TO
MOTHERHOOD

I was born on April 23, 1951 into a very poor family. I grew up with my mother, my grandmother, and part of my mother's family. My father was an irresponsible man. He had two women. My mother was really young when she decided to go with him, maybe 16 years old. Meanwhile, my father was involved with another woman, whom he later married when he learned she was having a baby. My mother had a baby boy before I was born.

My father was very mean to my mother. He dominated her and kept her shut up in a house. He even did all the shopping so that she wouldn't have to leave. My mother began to realize that he had another woman because sometimes he would come home and other times he wouldn't. When my mother realized that my father was also living with another woman, she left him.

She was three months pregnant with me when she left him and went to live in her mother's house. My grandmother was a very humble woman. She never went to school or learned how to read or write. Her work was to cook and to make chocolate to sell. She also washed and ironed clothing in order to survive.

She was a well known cook in the town of Izalco which is in the department of Sonsonate, about 78 kilometers from San Salvador. Izalco is a small town, but it is well known. My grandmother was a very elegant woman of Indian origin, as are all of the people of Izalco. She was tall with a pretty nose and she had long black hair. She was very traditional

-9-

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