This class graduated from Instituto Nacional del Usulután in 1978. Then, when the country plunged into a civil war, many of them left for the United States and other parts of the world.
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A civil war in El Salvador tore them apart. Their high school reunion brought them back together

Members of the class of ’78 were 20 years old when a civil war scattered them across their country and up to California. They find the home they knew is gone, but their feelings for one another endure.

Vendors line the street during a festival in downtown Usulutan, El Salvador. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Former classmates Durham Garcia, far left, of Usulutan, Ismael Rodriguez Batres of San Salvador and Hugo Arnoldo Flores of San Salvador attend a prayer service at Santa Catarina church in Usulutan.  (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
A motorcycle rider and pint-size passenger cruise along CA-2 in downtown Usulutan. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Nominees for queen of the patron saint festival ride parade floats through downtown Usulutan in November. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
The crowd reaches for candy thrown by nominees for queen during a parade through downtown Usulutan. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Students on the first day of registration at the National Institute of Usulutan. Members of the class of ’78 say everything about the school has changed. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Gustavo Urrutia, left, academic coordinator at the National Institute of Usulutan, with Manuel Machado of Covina, Calif., a former student of the school.  (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
Rosa Elba Melendez of San Salvador dances with former classmate Dagoberto Lazo of San Miguel, El Salvador, while attending their 41st high school reunion in Usulutan. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
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