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Survivor Stories
Maria Flor Idalma Lovos Alvarado - El Salvador

Maria Flor Idalma Lovos Alvarado was born in 1970. She went to school until fourth grade when, at 12 years old, she recruited to serve in the ranks of the FMLN as a radio operator. She was working on the shores of a river in San Vicente on March 3, 1987, when a mine exploded just a few yards from her. For nine days she lay in a stream basin with no help. When she was finally taken to a hospital, where doctors amputated her leg. During her eight months of hospitalization, she was guarded by soldiers of the National Army. In December of the same year, she was released from the hospital to her grandparents because she was a minor.

After two months, she rejoined an armed group to help in a clinic for refugees. In May of 1988, she received her first prosthesis. “It was hard to adapt to using a prosthesis. I had a lot of pain.” She received rehabilitation outside of El Salvador, and in 1992, was finally reunited with her parents, after not seeing them for 11 years.

Flor Idalma found about Landmine Survivors Network through other survivors. She was visited in 2003 by outreach worker Jose Damaso Abrego. When Jose asked what her needs were, she told him her prosthesis did not fit properly. She also told him she would like to have her own place for she and her son, as they were sharing a room with her parents. But, she had no way to make a living.

Flor Idalma and the Outreach Worker came up with a plan. First, they helped her find an organization that aided people hurt as a result of the war. She now has a new prosthesis. Then, they helped her obtain materials to build a sturdy house on her father’s land. Other amputees helped her on this project, and she now has a house for her and her son. Finally, the outreach worker and the economic opportunity agent from LSN trained her in running a small business. She now has a booth in the Santiago Texacuangos Market where she sells clothing.

View the next profile: Jesús Martinez

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