1981 -- Return to Sangarro

After working in the US for a year, we returned to Sangarro. Our forty acres had been confiscated and all property and livestock moved over to the Amparo Estate which was now a cooperative. We lived in a tent on Raphael's land while we did what had to be done to have our property returned. We passed a petition among our neighbors and they certified us as good neighbors. The farm was then returned at a public ceremony in Ocotal. We saw our Landrover on the streets in Ocotal being driven by Sandinista soldiers. When we enquired at the local army post we learned that the vehicle had been reassigned to some other region. We got back most everything but the truck.

We moved our possesions by horseback over the mountain and back into the house and started working on the farm again. All talk was of the Contras in Honduras and Sandanista military patrols passed by often. As shown in the picture a few of the soldiers are helping us fill plastic bags for coffee seedlings!

We decided that staying on the farm was even more dangerous than it had been during the war, and retreated again to Costa Rica and then back to the USA, where we settled in upstate New York.. Raphael was left in charge of Sangarro, with a legal title to his forty acres, and we told him to do whatever he needed to do to protect himself and his family.