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"First of all, the clean modern airport surprised me. The magnificent natural terrain with volcanos on the horizon was startlingly beautiful."
- Malcolm Collins

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El Salvador

10 times to El Salvador and still loving it
by Malcolm Collins, 54, Pasadena, California, USA
Feb 7, 2000

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Central/South American Travel Stories  Americas Webcams  El Salvador Profile  Map of El Salvador

I first travelled very reluctantly to El Salvador with my wife 15 years ago. The 12 year civil war was then at its worst. El Salvador was often in the nightly news with pictures of massive civil demonstrations, and general disorder. Salvadoran refugees were flooding into the USA. I went only because my new Salvadoran wife insisted she was going to go to visit her family, with me or without me.

From the moment I stepped off the plane, all of my pre-conceptions of the country turned out to be inaccurate. First of all, the clean modern airport surprized me. The magnificent natural terrain with volcanos on the horizon was startlingly beautiful. I found that the capital San Salvador was in the mountains, and instead of being miserably hot and humid, was warm during the day with perfect cool evenings. And the people were the friendliest I have met anywhere.

I have since traveled to El Salvador more than 10 times. I am going again with my wife and three children in June 2000. I have only grown to love it more with each trip. The war has now been over for 8 years, the economy has been growing rapidly, and the people are still as friendly as ever. We are very seriously thinking of moving there and opening a small guest house.

Because guide books on the country are not very complete (Lonely Planet Central America is one of the best), it is not an easy country for first time visitors. The tourist industry has lately been developing strongly, but it is almost entirely aimed at Salvadorans who live in the USA and already know the country. Lately information on the Web has been exploding. A good place to find this information is on my web page, which lists many links about travel to El Salvador. It also has some great photos.

If you travel to Central America, don't leave El Salvador out. Its unexpected wonders are well worth the trip.

Malcolm's Site

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