We continue with our series, “Letters to the World,” in which the communities of Berlín have an opportunity to share their own stories, histories, and worldviews in their own words. I sadly do not have any photos from the Villa Rosa Neighborhood, but please take the time to read their important story regardless!
History of the Villa Rosa Neighborhood, Cantón Concepción, Berlín, Usulután
Our history begins in this way. The neighborhood is formed by 14 homes, which on the 24th of December of 2004 in our parish of Berlín, when the Holy Mass was being celebrated at the end they said that they were going to give away 14 homes. Then they chose the favored families and they raffled off the homes, hence we, the 14 families who now inhabit these beautiful homes, won, which were a donation of a family of the brothers of a priest and [with] the help of Father Silvio. In honor of the mother of said family the they named the neighborhood with the name of Villa Rosa. All the residents are profoundly grateful with this family because due to their great heart and their help we now have a dignified house. In addition after a few years they donated another plot of land to two more families for which we are now 16 families in the neighborhood, but these last homes are built with wood and sheet metal.
It was a beautiful place surrounded by nature, an agreeable climate, we had exits and entrances that [were] beautiful and accessible, until one day the workers of the geothermal corporation arrived (La Geo). First to perforate a well TR18 and then to take away the accessible exits that we had, cutting down the coffee farms, felling the trees, excavating to put down pipes of chemical water that are all around our neighborhood, from there the pure air that we were breathing ran out, now we breathe air contaminated by these wells and this harms our health and nature a great deal.
But in spite of all this we have been through after that we started to work in our neighborhood, forming our Directiva [community board] to be able to request aid.
1) First we requested a footbridge from La Geo because they cut off our exit towards the road to Alegría, we insisted a great deal and as their obligation they built it.
2) Then we obtained an electricity project because we did not count on this service.
3) Then we worked for the potable water project because we had to go a long distance to get it but we achieved that they approved a water jug stand for our community.
4) Then we obtained the construction of 90 steps to the exit toward the road to Alegría because it was in bad shape because they refused to build us a road.
5) As a last project we have obtained the construction of a part of the road in concrete within our neighborhood because it is the main road but we still are missing half of this project.
The only thing that we have not been able to achieve in our neighborhood is food aid or food packets, because we are families of scarce economic resources, there are a few families that work on the coffee farm and when there is no work they leave to see in what way they can sustain their families.
We make our history and our needs known. If these stories were sent to foreign places may they extend their help to us to continue forward in a better way of living.
We as Berlín-area Salvadorans ask our brothers and sisters in the United States that they have a good government election, so that our brothers and sisters, friends, and relatives may have freedom in that country. So that they do not have to hide, so that they are not abused, because if they are in that place it is because of so much poverty, need, and violence in El Salvador and that has been the motive for which they have risked their lives on that very dangerous journey to arrive in the USA. And it is not possible that because of a bad election that you make them return to risk their lives and withstand hunger together with their families in this place.
To those people who may read this history, may God touch your hearts to so that you may reach out to help us.
Here we have many young people that have only obtained their high school degree because there is no economy to be able to give them higher education.
We ask the governments that they think about the health of people and the well-being of human beings, that they do not approve polluting projects like the geothermal wells. May they become conscious that they harm the environment and humanity.
In advance to thank you the people that give your time to read this beautiful history and may you make it known. God bless you.
Residents of Colonia Villa Rosa