Friday, April 27, 2012

New El Salvador photo round-up

The capital city of San Salvador rests in the shadow of the El Salvador volcano

Chris in the center of San Salvador

Another view of the volcano which looms over the city

The latest stop in our tour of Latin American "Costco" stores. This one was in San Salvador. And yes, once again, it looks exactly like the ones in the states. Freaky!

Salvadorian nuns enjoying the ever-popular Costco pizza and Coke

OK, this Spanish speaking San Salvador Costco customer was kind enough to model his donated American t-shirt. I admit, I have no idea what this means. The best guess we could come up with is this shirt was printed for Bay Area Notre Dame fans to wear on game day. Any other ideas? 

Yet another view of the San Salvador volcano looming over the city. I admit, I'm a bit obsessed with it, I guess. The next step for me will be obsessively building mud models of it, a-la Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters." 

We toured the National Museum in San Salvador where we saw this giant Civil War mural. Note the thousands of graves in the distance on the left. Even more provocative is the murdered Archbishop Romero on the right, flanked by a cartoonish image of the Pope and a rather macabre looking Uncle Sam literally "sticking his nose in where it doesn't belong." Yikes. 

Yet another view of the volcano. This one is from the National Museum downtown. As I write this, I'm humming the "Close Encounters" theme in my head. Be very afraid... (LOL)

These two little guys live in the trees around the Bahis del Sol hotel.
 They happily come down for a visit when the locals feed them peanuts.

San Salvador has FIVE American-style malls. As you can see above, like Costco,
 it looks exactly like the ones in the states. 

Here's a testament to how much Salvadorians love their soccer. The mob scene above was around an electronics store in the mall. It was a live televised soccer game, but the participants weren't from El Salvador or even Latin America! It was Spain vs. England.  I had to laugh when Chris gave an alternative theory for the soccer mania above: it was bored husbands stuck in the mall, looking for any diversion while their wives shopped. Ha! Some things are the same wherever you go! :-) 

Scene from the San Salvador mall food court: "Burger King: La Casa del Whopper!"

Notice how most of the popular magazines are American ones (only in Spanish). Evidence is everywhere here that American culture, for better for worse, is still the most admired and most aspired to for hipness and sophisticated style. 

Outside of the big city, it's a different story.  This caged monkey was right in the middle of a roadside restaurant in a rural area. OK, now THIS is not a scene you routinely see in the states!   

Nor is this sign on a small restaurant, which states: "Do not carry firearms here." (OK, we won't!)

This is an all-too-common scene in El Salvador. Someone's dream of a "Coffee Cake" coffee boutique fell on very hard times. The poverty is shocking at times.

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