Yesterday I was able to get to the coast of El Salvador with Rafa and Antonietta (Chilean actress working with ArtCorps in El Salvador) who decided to go last minute just for the afternoon. The drive was only about 40 minutes from the city and of course we stopped along the way for some traditional “Gallina India” which from what Rafa explained I understood as homegrown chicken – as opposed to the hormone stuffed chickens we are used to eating. These were much tougher and had far less meat on them but regardless did not lack whatsoever in taste.
We arrived in the port city of La Libertad, a popular tourist area and weekend getaway spot for Salvadorans. Rafa took us to his friend’s beach house. It was not right on the beach but only a block inland. The house had recently been stripped of its power and water access, why I do not know. We parked the car and headed straight for the beach. It was a familiar sight for me, marbled black and brown sand, palm trees lining the beach line, and sea mist from the pounding surf. I felt like I was back somewhere on the Pacific coast of Panama. After an hour or so playing in the waves, and another hour just relaxing on the beach, Rafa took us to a fish market back in the main town.
The fish market was on a dock called Muelle la Libertad (muelle means dock in Spanish). The place was bustling and it was almost closing time; the sun was setting fast as it tends to do in the tropics and vendors struggled to sell off as much of the day’s catch as they could. The sounds and colors were hypnotic. I have seen larger operations than this. However, there was something subtle about this market and I think it was its self contained approach. At the end of the dock were large loading and unloading cranes that would drop boats into the water in the early morning when the fishermen would go out, and lift them back up in the afternoon when they would return. The catch would then be wheeled down the dock to the various vendors, mostly the wives, mothers and daughters of the fishermen – a great little economic stronghold in the midst of what appeared to be a struggling one.
This is a short slideshow of some photos I took with my point and shoot camera while I was at the Muelle – I hope you enjoy it.