Trees Bring Life, Healing to War-Torn El Salvador 'Forest of Reconciliation' Provides Hope Where Fighting Once Raged

By Sheila Polson, Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 28, 1997 | Go to article overview

Trees Bring Life, Healing to War-Torn El Salvador 'Forest of Reconciliation' Provides Hope Where Fighting Once Raged


Sheila Polson, Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Ten years ago, Francisco Acosta's childhood home on El Salvador's Guazapa Volcano was under siege. A fiery battleground for leftist rebels and government army troops embroiled in his country's long civil war, the once lush, forested mountain north of San Salvador was rapidly being stripped of life - plant, animal, and human.

Today, things are quieter on the dormant volcano. Not only has the fighting stopped, but forest life is also returning, thanks to Francisco Acosta and his wife, Barbara. Struck by the glaring need to heal both people and nature when the war ended in 1992, the couple came up with a plan: They would lead residents of Mr. Acosta's former neighborhood in planting The National Forest of Reconciliation.

Their goal, which they continue to work toward today, is to plant one tree in memory of each of more than 75,000 people who died in the 12-year war. This, the Acostas say, is a practical way to begin reclaiming some of the forest devastated by fighting, fires, and the 4,000 tons of bombs dropped on Guazapa. They also hope that planting these thousands of symbols of new life will help bring peace and healing to people from all sides of the war. "We knew we had to look at both the human and environmental aspects of the difficulties people faced {after the peace accords were signed}," says Mrs. Acosta, an American who has lived with her husband and two children near San Salvador for the past eight years. The Reconciliation Forest, she stresses, is not the ultimate solution, but a tool to "bring people through the process of anger and grief necessary for the nation to move on." It's an idea that has been endorsed by Salvadorans in dozens of communities around the Guazapa Volcano; it is also gaining international recognition. Not just plants and animals This was evident when the Acostas spoke recently at a gathering of 200 members from more than 30 countries of the Society for Human Ecology at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Their topic included the subject of human ecology, a field adopted by educators and professionals that includes not just plants and animals, but also people studying the environment. Mrs. Acosta, a former student of human ecology at the College of the Atlantic, says it is this holistic view that inspired the reconciliation project. Richard Borden, administrative dean at College of the Atlantic - a school which pioneered the field in the 1970s - commends the couple's efforts. "The Acostas' work is a perfect example of using the human ecology approach to deal with extremely complex problems. Their ability to think broadly and come up with the necessarily complex solutions to those problems is the key to their success." So far, Guazapa area residents have planted more than 110 acres of trees in the National Forest of Reconciliation, which is on the highest slopes of the 4,700-foot volcano. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Trees Bring Life, Healing to War-Torn El Salvador 'Forest of Reconciliation' Provides Hope Where Fighting Once Raged
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.