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Chapter 1

Guerrillas Come to Middle School

One winter afternoon—it didn’t rain that day—our squat little Principal Toad appeared at school with a troop of dirty, sunburned strangers. The teachers brought us kids in sixth and seventh grades out to the patio. It was July of 1978. Our school was a rickety converted chicken ranch, and we were some thirty girls and boys, eleven or twelve years old. We lived in the hills above San Salvador, in hovels that were either champas made of rusty sheet metal, or mesones of adobe and cardboard. We were startled to confront this band of brawny, armed men.

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