The Legacy Project: Central America
After the Cold War thawed in Southeast Asia in the early 1970s, the proxy conflict took on new life in Central America, among other hotspots around the world. The Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the FMLN in El Salvador emerged as major leftist movements, to the great displeasure of the US government. Efforts throughout the region to redistribute land, attempting to address the major problems dating back to the encomienda system established by the conquistadores, sounded Marxist alarms in other countries, including Guatemala and Honduras. Aside from Costa Rica, a lone haven of peace in the region, Central American countries in the 1980s swung between civil war and authoritarian governments.
The United States, particularly under Ronald Reagan, committed tremendous resources to Central America in an effort to halt the spread of communism, with mixed results, to put it kindly.
In January/February 2009, the Legacy Project made a brief scouting trip to Central America, to research a potential future student/film project. A series of reports from that trip, along with a collection of resources, is available below.
Trip Reports: Dispatches from Managua, Nicaragua; Tegucigalpa, Honduras; El Mozote, El Salvador; and Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Local Organizations: A list of organizations we spoke with, or hope to meet in the future.
Annotated Bibliography: The most useful books we read in preparation for the trip.
Other Resources: Assorted links to helpful sites.