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Modern Languages

Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo

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On Friday, September 20, BLS hosted two of the Abuelas (Grandmothers) de la Plaza de Mayo from Argentina for a charla about their work. Estela de Carlotto, president of the group Las Abuelas de la Plaza de Mayo, and Buscarita Roa, vice treasurer, spoke to over 100 students from the AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature classes in the auditorium. The Abuelas were doing a speaking tour at local colleges, and through contacts at UMass Boston, Spanish teacher Patricia Chouinard arranged to have the Abuelas come to BLS after we were unable to find a way to get our students to one of their other sites. Both women gave the history of Argentina’s military dictatorship during the Dirty War from 1976-1983, and then told their own personal stories of their searches for their missing children and grandchildren (los desparecidos) who were either killed or kidnapped during the dictatorship. The charla was done entirely in Spanish, and especially important since many of the AP students learned about the abuelas and the desaparecidos in class via the movie “La historia official”, short stories, poetry and songs. The Abuelas continue to march weekly in the Plaza de Mayo to keep attention on their cause as they try to identify more than 400 missing grandchildren. So far they have successfully identified and, in many cases, reunited 109 grandchildren with their biological families.

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