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Tuesday, 30 March 2010

4th border crossing... into El Salvador

Yay! Made it to San Miguel in El Salvador today, and already love the feel of the country... its colourful and full of music and very friendly...its excessively hot, obnoxiously hot... so thirsty my stomach is inflated ike a balloon the amount of liquids I´m drinking and still thirsty!

Whoop, fifth country, and here I feel like I´ve got more freedom to explore. My travel insurance didn´t cover me in Honduras because it is still listed as "travel only if necessary" on the HMRC advice pages, which was why I just zipped through. The Honduran political situation is still tense after the political coup against left wing president Manuel Zelaya who was ousted by the right wing and forced out of the country at gunpoint last July. A temporary right wing leader was temporarily put in place and then an election placed a new right wing leader, but the illegality of the original ousting and the crumbling of democracy which ity signfiies has not been addressed, so things are still unstable for the country. Personally the only signs I saw of anything political were the rocks painted in red and blue campaigning for the different parties: red is the Liberal Party of Honduras (PLH), Zelaya´s party, which has strong links with Hugo Chavez and the ALBA alliance and blue is the National Party of Honduras (PNH).

ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America is an international cooperation organization based on the idea of social, political, and economic integration between the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. It is associated with socialist and social democratic governments and is an attempt at regional economic integration based on a vision of social welfare, bartering and mutual economic aid, rather than trade liberalization as with free trade agreements. ALBA nations are in the process of introducing a new regional currency, the SUCRE.
(info from wikipedia) Member countries: Venezuela, Cuba, Boilivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Dominica, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda. Honduras did join under Zelaya in 2008 but in 2009 Roberto Micheletti and the temporary Honduran congress withdrew from the agreement citing Venezuerla´s ´disrespect´as a reason, as Venezuela was supporting Zelaya.

Here in El Salvador things are politically more stable. The country suffered a viscious civil war in the 1980´s and serious gang violence in the 1990´s and today is still struggling to build it´s reputation as a safe tourist destination. The feel I´ve had all today is good, from the bustling music filled market streets of Santa Ana to the teeming traffic and delicious smells from the food markets here in San Miguel... and from the things I´ve heard from other travellers I´m sure it´ll stay that way.

Peace & big love from El Salvador!

1 comment:

  1. thats really interesting. I saw Bolivia's leader on the daily show a while back, seemed like such a decent normal guy, who was set on making life better for south americans, very humble. And one of the first leaders that actually grew up on a farm, with worker parents.
    I hope they all manage to pull together to prevent powerful people from abusing them, though it doesnt seem like Africa have managed , as a whole. Is reliligion quite a strong thing there? I suppose many people are catholic. But have you met any muslims in south america?