First of all, I do not know where or how to start. It is taking me a little time as I type to let my fingers guide my thoughts. I will start that I know for sure that Coatepeque City, in the Department of Santa Ana, El Salvador, Central America, is the first, probably the closest to my heart, location tied to my autobiography. I was born in this Pueblo, and lived in it until I was 17 years old. It is nostalgic to think that I went to pre-school, elementary, and two years of high school there. In many ways, my heart is still there, and almost every day since the civil war was over in 1992, I day dream of returning. I miss the mountains, the volcanic landscape, the smell of coffee flowers in the spring, the day of the dead in November 2nd, the torrential down pours, and much more.

Coatepeque plays a very big role in my life. It made me “YO”. We were in Jr. high school before the war; we, the students, were an instrumental part of protesting against the injustice from the dictator regime. It was the city where I was introduced to classic rock. I clearly heard the Eagles, Boston, and Fleetwood Mac under the tropical rain, and the earth shaking thunder under my feet.

The contributions for my education were implanted deeply in my soul in Coatepeque City. They were through life experiences such protesting, strikes, and take overs of school, churches and factories. I learned that people must confront injustice together.

One of the qualities I miss is the simplicity of daily life in my old town, the closeness and the camaraderie of the neighbors, and the silence of late nights. Even with all these, civil war broke out in 1979, and we were forced to flee for our lives.