Thursday, October 29, 2009

Approaching summer

I'm back in Suchitoto at the beginning of summer, having left behind the winter rains of Seattle. It did rain night before last, quite energetically, but that was the first rain in a week. So summer, the dry season, is on the way. It's noticeably cooler, too, but "cooler" is a relative term - the high here yesterday was about 84 F, with a low around 76. Very pleasant!

This little guy was one of the dancers who performed at the parque central for a little fiesta honoring El Salvador's traditional customs. It was great to see the park full of people, especially because fears of crime have greatly increased here. One of our friends has an artesania store a block from the plaza. She worries that visitors are less and less willing to leave the visibility and safety of the plaza, and she has begun to leave her door locked during the day. A woman was killed recently in one of Suchi's outlying communities. Some neighbors have been extorted for la renta - not rent, but protection money. People are afraid to report extortion attempts to the police because they suspect many police are complicit with the gangs. When sensible people in Suchitoto, which has been a fairly safe community, are this worried it's a clear sign that the epidemic of crime in El Salvador and in Central America is growing much too fast.

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