The Immortal

Institute History


Reina was a beautiful 15-year-old when she went to war. She knew what soldiers did to women, she knew that they slept with them and then passed them along to a fellow soldier, and so on until they had passed through the hands of every single soldier in the unit. She had to do it, out of love for her 13-year-old brothers. Although she knew she could have died, and although she had to leave her newborn daughter behind without knowing if she would ever see her again, she felt it was her duty as a sister to look after her brothers.

José Antonio and Juan Antonio are identical twin brothers, who were separated by the war. José Antonio was taken by the Contras, he grew up among the Contra forces. His twin brother was his enemy; he loved him and wanted to look after him, but he hated his uniform and would have killed him.

Juan Antonio was not seized because his mother rescued him, but years later he was conscripted into the national service and became his twin brother’s enemy. He left the army as soon as he could.

María, like 70 percent of the population of Waslala, dedicates her life to God and to the Evangelical Pentecostal Church. She holds conversations with God and with demons. When she was an evil person, before she converted, her pet was the devil’s mastiff. Now the power of the Lord allows her to heal even terminal patients with her bare hands. On one occasion her mother passed away she was able to bring her back to life.

What they all have in common is that they are brothers and sisters, and that their current lives were decided on the 3rd of April, 1983. At six a.m. that morning, as their mother was making breakfast they heard shots; they were used to hearing gunfire, but this time the shots were a lot closer. Their home was caught in the middle of a skirmish between the Contras and the Sandinistas. Their father told them to hide in their refuge—a small dugout.

They heard something happening next door at María’s house, and then she staggered toward the refuge, bloodied and in shock, the Contras had tossed a grenade at her. Maria sustained injuries to her head and her abdomen, and watched as her husband was tortured to death because the fighters had found a pair of combat boots in the house.

Back in the refuge, the Contras arrived and seized Juan and José, both 13 years old, Emilio, 14 years old, and Reina, 15, along with their father. Their mother begged the fighters to leave at least one child, but they refused. The unit left with all of them, but Juan fell behind. His mother caught up with him telling the troops that if they wanted the child, they would have to kill her. Juan stayed with his mother. The Contras burned the house down.

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