My first month of this project has wrapped up – I really enjoyed setting aside time to learn more about another country, especially as it was one I knew almost nothing about when I started!
I learned a lot of Salvadoran history this month, particularly how tied up its history has been with the United States – American support going to a brutal but anti-Communist government in the Cold War, overflowing into an incredibly brutal civil war, and the refugees fleeing to the States to get caught up in gangs, only to be deported back to El Salvador and continue the violence there.
So yes, it is a country where the legacy and present of violence and crime factors into day to day life deeply, and it’s something that affects Salvadorans – both those living there and those abroad. However, there is also way way more to it than just the negatives that we normally see in the media, this is a country with its own traditions, art, culture and food – and people with a deep pride in their identity. I definitely enjoyed finding new, young artists – Gabriela Triste and Lincktendo are now in my shuffle permanently.
I also really enjoyed the food – I’m going to be returning to La Cabaña to try more dishes, and now I know where to get good frozen pupusas in Ottawa, and that wickedly good caramel corn.
I can’t wait to see what country next month brings!