A civil war in El Salvador tore them apart. Their high school reunion brought them back together

Graduating class of 1978 from National Institute of Usulutan
Former classmates Manuel Machado of Covina, Calif., left; Rogelio Colato of New York; Ricardo Alfredo Bermúdez of North Hills, Calif.; and Elias Aguilar of San Salvador reunite in Usulutan, El Salvador, for their 41-year high school reunion in November.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

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Brittny Mejia is a reporter on the Los Angeles Times’ Metro desk covering breaking news and stories on immigration and race. She is a military brat who calls Germany home and is a graduate of the University of Arizona.