Life on a bus
Yesterday we had a picture of a trip to a post office from volunteers in El Salvador. Today, another volunteer in El Salvador, Laura, gives us her thoughts about Life on the Salvadoran Bus:
To give some background, there are two main types of busses. Big busses and little busses (microbusses). The big ones are mostly used school busses like I remember from grade school. The micros can be anything from smaller versions of the big bus or big vans. The micros are crazier and go faster. There is usually a driver and a person who jumps off at everystop and yells "CENTRO, CENTRO, SUBA SUBA, UNA CORDA, UNA CORDA" (Downtown, Downtown, get on, get on, a quarter, a quarter). The drivers tend to race each other and chase down customers, especially if they are the same number. Most are decorated with stickers or paint about God and Jesus or with women´s names. There are usually safety warnings and rules written in English. Sometimes there are bullet holes in the windows and they are usually dirty. Music on the busses can range from Ranchero to Reggaeton to American 80´s music. Sometimes they are so crowded that everyone is standing and some people are almost hanging out the door. Sometimes they are almost empty.(more)
All this "stuff" easy for me..I'm a former New Yorker used to crowded public transport and also resided in Mexico City, former ‘chilango’ and Guatemala City former ‘capitalino’, but still all timesm, gotta use common sense and be aware at all times..”Life in The Tropics”..”Love it or Leave it”!
. Best time to ride San Salvador (or Guate City or Teguc or Managua) city buses 930AM-1130AM (Lunchtime 12-2PM many persons go home to eat or go shopping, run errands..mandados)and 2 to about 430PM weekdays, Saturdays after 1PM and Sundays pretty much all day, less service, though...Best city ..Interurbano.. Route in San Salvador 30B (55) Zona Rosa to Galerias to Metrocentro to San Luis CC, nice modern buses, crowded to or from Metrocentro Mall, worst route for robberies is the 44 Buses and Microbuses, from National University to Metrocentro to La UCA (Antiguo Cuscatlan) to Santa Elena US Embassy area...crowded, drivers often get percentage of "take" from gangs of theives and extorionists who work this route, early evenings, rush hours, the worst. I live here a long time folks, don't "argue", my best source Salvadorian friends who ride to and from work or school every day!
I work volunteer part time with project located in a 100% crime free, pollution free village in rural El Salvador..all are welcome to contact us and spend a day there….
Our project: (I am retired so I volunteer to "help to help" part time)
Local transportation to and from Cinquera provided from San Salvador or Suchitoto, Cinquera is a village, crime free, very hospitable people!
Cinquera is located “Well Off the Beaten Path”, short term volunteers now would need to stay in nearby colonial town of Suchitoto or in San Salvador until the hostal in Cinquera is constructed. Limited Bus service to Cinquera via Suchitoto, 1 bus each way per day, so local transportation, usually in pick up truck provided. After volunteering we are able to connect you with other humanitarian aid organizations throughout Central America and offer you tips on travelling cheaply and safely anywhere in the region. Travelling on a very low budget? Contact us and we shall connect you with the non profit "Hospitality" sites on line, whereby you may stay a day, a week or more in the homes of local members...many members now in El Salvador, Central/south America and worldwide. Helping to Help!
ARDM and the residents of Cinquera also planning to construct a Revolutionary War Museum to rival the one in Perquin as well a Butterfly Farm and exhibit and sale of crafts made with Añil dyes (Indigo), profits beyond expenses go back into the community. All visitors, national and international are required to pay for transportation, fuel costs, admission to rain forest and park and fees for native guides.
**Seeking short term volunteers residing in or traveling through Central America to El Salvador with 'very green' eco/historic tourism project..non profit cooperative – “Association for the Reconstruction and Municipal Development of Cinquera” ARDM
..Cinquera Cabañas El Salvador.."As well as eco tourism Cinquera boasts historical and cultural sites, the village was destroyed during the worst years of the civil conflict in El Salvador in the early 1980s and those residents who survived either hid out in the nearby caves (which are viewed on tour with trained uniformed guides from the community) of fled the country. After the peace accords of 1992 former residents began trickling back to Cinquera and in effect this small town was "reborn". Aside from the Rain Forest tour, there exist in Cinquera historical and cultural sites such as the Church, a building which stood alone and empty of worshipers throughout the armed conflict." The Uniformed native guides will escort you every step of the way through the rain forest, trails have been constructed.
ARDM and the residents of Cinquera organization is also planning to construct a Revolutionary War Museum to rival the one in Perquin as well a Butterfly Farm and exhibit and sale of crafts made with Añil dyes (Indigo), profits beyond expenses go back into the community. All visitors, national and international are required to pay for transportation, fuel costs, admission to rain forest and park and fees for native guides. The organization receives limited funding and low income natives are unable to support traveler stays, long or short term. Punto.
Volunteers and visitors alike expected to help with fuel costs for transportation, required to pay for their home stays or lodgings themselves in nearby Suchitoto or in San Salvador city.
E mail elsalvadorinfo at gmail.com or marco at telemovil.net Subject = Cinquera
For more detailed information.
Le Esperamos con gusto....
Am I not sooo glad to reach that part of crime-free and pollution-free place ?
But guess what.El Salvador is not alone.The good and the bad , could happen in other cities anywhere in the world.We can rant or we can rave about it.There is not much anyone can do .It is the government that is supposed to govern these things so that peace and order will be maintained.Maybe traffic police should be strategically located as bus crime deterrent?
No if we held our breath and waited for "Government" to help, and that applies to USA in my opinion we'd all be blue in the face. By the way, as in the USA, the leaders and congress people and candidates of both major political parties here in ES fiercly debate in public, but all have business interests, family and friendship ties, often intertwined in the background..human nature..human to err..and if you think I'm totally in error, well be "divine" and forgive.
Our projects moving ahead..all welcome to visit..notify me in advance of your arrival and I shall be happy to introduce you around..most Salvadorians are friendly and helpful and few walk around with ipods and blackberries, so we are still human here, not walking connectivity machines, and in the rural areas few have ever touched a computer.