|El Salvador here we come|
We were greeted on our first day in El Salvador with lots of waves and smiling faces. We also saw a huge number of fellow cyclists on the road. Cycling in all shapes and forms is certainly a popular form of transport in El Salvador.
|You see all sorts of things attached to bikes in El Salvador.|
Our first stop was Los Cabanos where a pal treated us to a lovely little hotel for our first night in El Salvador. We got there mid afternoon keen to make the most of our stay in this lovely place right beside the waters edge. Despite cycling close to the coast at various stages the last time I was actually on the beach was back in January with Nick just south of Mazatlan so I was thrilled to make it back to the coast proper.
|Somebody is excited to be going to the beach|
|Cheers to our first day in El Salvador and arriving at the beach|
|View of the coast|
|Some of the many beautiful orange blossoming trees we passed, luckily I was wearing my matching orange TriAthy top.|
|Always use protection.|
|The coast of El Salvador is a popular surf spot|
|House by the road|
The next two days were spent cycling in hot humid conditions through the rest of El Salvador, taking breaks where we could in air conditioned petrol stations. You would not have to be in El Salvador very long to notice the amount of guns in the country. Most shops seemed to have heavily armed security guards, including a bike shop we passed.
|Some of the heavily armed security guards we met outside a petrol station|
|Beautiful El Salvador landscape|
|Some captured iguanas for sale to be eaten|
Trocaire also have an office in El Salvador and although we did not have time to visit any of the their projects I have included some additional information on El Salvador and Troaire's work in the country.
El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America and has been wracked by civil war and a succession of natural disasters.The population in 2013 is estimated at 6.1 million and average per capita income is estimated at US$ 7,700.
In the 1980’s El Salvador was ravaged by a bitter civil war. This was stoked by inequality between a small and wealthy elite, which dominated the government and the economy, and the overwhelming majority of the population, many of whom lived - and continue to live - in abject poverty.
The war left around 70,000 people dead and caused damage worth $2bn, but it also brought about important political reforms. In 1992 a United Nations-brokered peace agreement ended the civil war, but no sooner had El Salvador begun to recover when it was hit by a series of natural disasters, notably Hurricane Mitch in 1998 and earthquakes in 2001. These left at least 1,200 people dead and more than a million others homeless.
The economy depends heavily on the money sent home by Salvadoreans living in the US. At least 20% of El Salvador's population lives abroad. The remittances they send home account for close to 20% of GDP, are the second largest source of external income after exports, and have helped reduce poverty.
TRÓCAIRE IN EL SALVADOR
Trocaire’s current programme in El Salvador focuses on supporting poor communities to improve their livelihoods and resist the impacts of climate change and natural disasters. As well as working directly at local level, Trocaire supports partners to engage in advocacy so that the Salvadorean government and the international community take action to mitigate against the worst impacts of climate change.
|A wall mural we passed on the road in El Salvador saying No to violence against women.|