Since I’m not going anywhere interesting this winter and my co-worker, Uma, has no blog, we thought we’d share Uma’s recent vacation to El Salvador.
I know what you’re thinking. When she first announced her intended trip a couple of co-workers who are actually from El Salvador were astonished, to put it mildly. They said things to the effect of, “Are you insane?”
They might have been referring to the 12 years of civil war (1980-1922).
Or they might have been concerned that El Salvador is subject to significant earthquakes, volcanic activity and hurricanes. The 5.7 earthquake of 1986 resulted in 1500 deaths, 10,000 injuries, and 100,000 people left homeless. In 2001 two 7.7 earthquakes in January and February killed over 1,000 people and destroyed over 20% of the country’s housing. The latest volcanic eruption was in October of 2005.
Natural disasters aside, El Salvador also experiences one of the highest murder rates in the world and is considered a hotbed of gang activity since thousands of Salavadoran gang members were deported from the US in the mid 1990s.
But, Uma is an adventurous sort and went anyway. Tourism is still in its infancy in El Salvador so she got a really good deal ($1,000 Canadian all inclusive – flight, accommodation and meals). Maybe Uma is just cheap?
There aren’t many nature-themed tourist destinations in El Salvador such as ecotours or archaeological monuments. There are museums and surfing, however:
This is the only photo that’s not one of Uma’s. Although Uma did surf, I guess no one took pictures. This photo is from Lonely Planet.
Uma did climb a volcano:
She said she’ll never do it again because it took hours and hours and she almost died from exhaustion.
Here she is wondering how she’s going to get off this damned volcano now that she’s almost dead from exhaustion.
Whenever they left the resort, the group was accompanied by heavily armed police.
Uma says the female police were particularly gorgeous.
And, although they were smaller than their guns, they were also very serious about their jobs. They don’t like tourists getting murdered by gangs. Good to know.
There isn’t much in the way of wildlife in El Salvador for some reason, but the scenery that isn’t covered by volcanic rubble is beautiful.
And the resort was lovely.
The most important area of the resort.
The sad part is that El Salvador is still one of the poorest countries in Latin America with 31% of its population living below the poverty line. Many of the people live in shacks by the side of the road like this:
Egads! Maybe if we all spend our next vacation in El Salvador we can help boost their economy a bit, eh?
Uma loved her vacation. The accommodations were great. The people were charming and fun. The food was perfect; the drinks abundant (even though there was no Crown Royal). She and the entire gang she went with had a fabulous time.
Uma is happy to answer any questions about this trip or check out El Salvador Tourism.
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