The Project

Mujeres de la Guerra, Historias de El Salvador documents the lives, stories and work of twenty-eight women leaders in El Salvador. Through a documentary film, photography exhibits in both the US and El Salvador, and a photo essay book, Mujeres de la Guerra provides these women with the opportunity to tell their inspiring stories and share their hope, wisdom and dedication with the world.

The Salvadoran Civil War (1980-1992) claimed the lives of over 75,000 innocent civilians.  An additional 8,000 Salvadorans disappeared. Many thousands of families were forced to abandon their homes and flee from horrific violence, the majority of which was carried out by US-backed military and death squads.

In their interviews, the women tell of losing their homes, their family members, the scorched earth campaigns – losing crops, livestock, food and livelihood – the massacres, the repression.  Fleeing into the mountains, suffering from hunger, fear and tropical storms.

Despite the violence, these women continued to organize their communities and demand respect for basic human rights.  At the end of the war, many of the women gained land, education, found their own voices.

But la lucha, the struggle, did not end with the Peace Accords. Today, these women leaders organize communities and cooperatives to create opportunities for everyone; they work for justice and defend basic human rights; they empower women, teach young people and raise awareness. Their courage, resilience, and perseverance, their hope in a better tomorrow, their ability to “seguir adelante,” continue forward in even the darkest of times, are deeply inspiring.