photo: Bungarun Orchestra, 1948, State Library of Western Australia
Despite the injustices people faced, individuals responded to the separation from their families by developing a new society of their own. They married, established churches, participated in politics, and developed small businesses. They formed bands and choirs, wrote books and poetry, composed and played music, and created art, all that reflected their spirit of survival and resistance.
José de la Cruz Mena, Nicaragua
Musician and composer whose waltzes became internationally famous after his death at age 33 in 1907. Diagnosed with leprosy at age 18 and blind by age 22, he composed music in an isolated cabin on the Chiquito River. Today, a theater named in his honor in Leon, Nicaragua, is a designated national heritage site.
Suffered the hardship of countless winds and frosts,
Met snows and struggled with severe cold in the rock,
Survived from many nights of violent thunderstorms,
All these hardships have made the pine tree the strongest one.
An Hua Chen, China