Tag: U.S. Contra forces

  • Weed Out the Gringos

    Weed Out the Gringos

    Before we moved into the Nicaraguan war zone, the group we were with, Witness for Peace, trained us for our jobs, which was, put simply, to get in the way of Reagan’s illegal Contra army. Wherever there were gringos, the Contra didn’t attack. That would make for bad press: If Ronald’s boys ended up killing…

  • Through These Words, I Rise

    Through These Words, I Rise

    In order to rescatar mi lengua (rescue my language) from an anti-Spanish childhood (my white father had ordered Mamá not to speak to me in her native language when I was a child), I studied like a fiend. Every night, before moving to Nicaragua in 1985, I memorized thirty Spanish words a day. Before getting on the…

  • Finding My Latino Roots in a War Zone

    Finding My Latino Roots in a War Zone

    Michelle and I flew into Nicaragua in the fall of 1985, a country that gringos weren’t supposed to visit. Ronald Reagan was at war with the country. The Nicaraguans had run Somoza out of the country, the bloody dictator whom the United States had propped up for decades. The Sandinistas were now in charge. And…