In the Time of the Butterflies

What takes place during Patria's mountain retreat?4

chpt 8

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Though she is pregnant with Raul Ernesto, Patria decides to go on a retreat with Padre de Jesus and the Salcedo group to Constanza. They are the Christian Cultural Group, led by four priests including Padre de Jesus and Brother Daniel. Trujillo has heard rumors of the pending invasion and has declared a state of emergency, but the retreat goes to Constanza anyway. They stay in a retreat house that resembles a nunnery, and Patria feels peaceful.

On June 14, while they listen to Brother Daniel speak about the Assumption, the mountainside is bombed. The first wave of the liberating invasion is the target, and as Patria watches, one of them (who is about Noris's age) is gunned down. The Christian Cultural Group comes back down the mountain, and Patria's family meets her on the road coming into town. In the newspaper, they read that 49 men and boys died in the attack. They read six days later that the second wave of the invasion force was intercepted and also defeated.

At the next meeting of the Christian Cultural Group, the mood has changed considerably: Padre de Jesus speaks like a revolutionary, and they change their name to Accion Clero-Cultural, or ACC. Their mission is to organize a powerful national underground. Patria volunteers Pedrito, Nelson, Minerva, Manolo, Maria Teresa, and Leandro for the organization. However, Pedrito becomes upset that the revolutionaries are meeting in their backyard, since a new law has been passed that will allow the government to confiscate the land of anyone found to be harboring any enemies of the regime. Patria is able to sway him when she reveals that their son Nelson is involved, too.

The Fourteenth of June Movement is founded then, in Patria and Pedrito's home. There are about forty people, with Manolo as president. They make bombs, called "nipples," and hide weapons. Patria sends Noris to Chea Mirabal's house, and they use her bedroom as an ammunitions room.