In El Salvador there hadn’t been anyone like me and George. We’d been alone, going around on the streets. In Nicaragua there were hundreds of us, thousands, so many we had a special name: we were called Internacionalistas, and we came from all over the world—Europe, Africa, all the Americas. We had professors and scientists among our ranks, and farmers and newspapermen and a brigade of artists, all trooping around. We converged on the capital and trucked out to the towns, to Granada, León, Estelí, carrying every kind of equipment—hoes and seeds and cisterns and books. We were ready to scrape up whatever was there and pat down a nice new revolutionary version instead. Since I was the youngest and spoke Spanish, the Internacionalistas could tell me to do anything and I would. Every day there was something for me and George to do. On Thursdays we went to the U.S. embassy to protest U.S. support of the Contras, the reactionary group trying to take down the Sandinistas. (Their very name annoyed us: Contrarrevolución—who would want to be against the revolution?) A hundred Internacionalistas or more showed up each week at the embassy gates and waved signs and shouted.
more from Deb Olin Unferth at The Believer here.