The flow of US dollars into El Salvador
The Washington Post is continuing to run articles which look at migration and its impact on El Salvador. Today's article looks at how the money sent home to El Salvador is pushing up prices in the country. Here is an excerpt:
With more dollars [from remittances] chasing limited commodities such as land and housing, prices are rising. And because El Salvador imports most of its goods from nations that can make them less expensively, the consumption boom isn't creating an increase in jobs. Meanwhile, the ready supply of desperate workers from the even poorer Central American countries of Nicaragua and Honduras keeps down wages for existing low-skill jobs -- making it difficult for the Salvadorans who hold them to make ends meet.
The impact of this dynamic is visible across this eastern stretch of the country, from which much of the Salvadoran migration to the United States has originated.
On small, family-run dairy farms that have dotted the area for generations, most ranch hands tending the cows these days are Hondurans and Nicaraguans.
So are the laborers who scrape salt crystals from the bottom of pools hugging the Pacific coastline, and the construction workers building pricey housing developments on the reddish earth a few miles inland.
"You can't find Salvadorans to do this kind of work anymore," said Jose Acosta, the supervisor at a construction site where almost all of the 35 men toiling under a harsh sun on a recent morning were from Nicaragua.
At best, the workers earn $250 a month, often far less, he said. "And these days, you need at least $300 to $400 just to survive." (more)