From a distance, the mural in the church of Ciudad Romero is so colorful that it leaves no hint of the suffering that its story portrays. But at a closer glance, the details in its colors tell a story of exile, injustice, and the horrors the people were forced to endure during the war.
The mural tells the story of the people of Ciudad of Romero. The story begins with their exodus from El Salvador, when they were forced to leave their homeland (top left-hand corner: just as the Jews left Egypt) and cross over into Panama, which lent out its open arms and a helping hand (center left-hand side).
The right-hand side of the mural depicts the assassination of Monseñor Romero. His body lies on the floor, his white robes stained red in blood. But his spirit is resurrected again (center right-hand side) in the will and determination of his people to keep fighting on: “Si me matan, resucitaré en la lucha de mi pueblo.”
As the bright colors help to illustrate, the story of the people of Ciudad Romero is not a tragedy, but rather a story of hope and great strength. They, too, resurrected from the decade of pain, suffering, and sorrow, and just as the wooden mural itself was cut into panels to be transported from Panama where it was painted to Ciudad Romero where it was reconstructed, the people of Ciudad Romero have managed to recreate a safe, peaceful, organized, and vibrant community wherever they have had to call home.