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Salvadoran Day celebrates a community’s cultural identity and march toward social justice

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The flying bullets, economic chaos and violent repression that engulfed El Salvador in the late 1970s pushed many social activists to flee their homeland for the United States. Those experiences still resonate for Salvadoran Americans in places such as Los Angeles, which became a hotbed for a generation in exile from the Central American nation that had plunged into a catastrophic 12-year civil war.

The resilient spirit of that generation, and its legacy of striving for social justice and united community action, will form the backdrop to Salvadoran Day this Saturday and Sunday , unfolding at the corner of Normandie Avenue and Venice Boulevard, in the heart of the city’s Central America diaspora.

Inaugurated in 1999, Salvadoran Day mixes a robust political component with cultural and religious element in a resounding affirmation of collective identity. Community leaders and left-leaning politicians regularly show up to proselytize.

This weekend’s activities will include a music festival, typical Salvadoran food and, to close out Sunday, a religious procession dedicated to the Divine Savior of the World, which will depart from St. Kevin Catholic Church on Beverly Boulevard. It will be followed by a Mass similar to those held in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, since 1525.

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