Showing posts from February, 2022

Of Chivo Pets, Boomer Senators, and a "Haven for Freedom"

Today's post is a mashup of a variety of things being covered in El Salvador in the last few weeks.    President Nayib Bukele announced the opening of the Chivo Pets public veterinary hospital.  People will be able to bring their pets to the modern new facility for treatment which will only cost 25 cents, as long as they pay using the Chivo digital wallet or another cryptocurrency wallet: Wanna watch a video about #Bitcoin and pets? @chivopets is the first ever #Bitcoin fully funded animal hospital. Every treatment will cost only $0.25, paid in #BTC , with any wallet. — Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) February 25, 2022 Bukele has said that the Chivo Pets hospital was paid for with the government's profits on Bitcoin.   The problem with that statement is that as of today, the government has not seen profits, but instead has accumulated unrealized losses of $15.6 million USD at today's prices: If nothing else, tying a public veterinary hosp

Update: Pesas y Poder

This is an update of my May 2021 post about Pesas y Poder . a "powerlifting for empowerment" initiative. working through the disciplines of fitness and strength, and the safe space of a community gym.  The goals of Pesas y Poder are to promote gender equity, community empowerment, and healing from trauma through the practice of strength sports in El Salvador.  Today Pesas y Poder has a home in a new gym in Comunidad Romero, Distrito Italia, Tonacatepeque.  The gym celebrated its official inauguration on Sunday, February 20, thanking all the individuals and organizations in El Salvador and across frontiers who had made it possible. The facility is a free, community gym drawing participants of all ages, genders, shapes and sizes. The gym is named for Elba and Celina Ramos , the mother and daughter murdered along with six Jesuit priests by the Salvadoran military in 1989. Core values of Pesas y Poder: inclusivity, health, solidarity and body positivity. At the gym today you mig

News and opinion podcasts for El Salvador

Here is a list of El Salvador news and opinion podcasts which I have collected.  Podcasts offer a way to receive news, analysis and much more to listen to on our smart devices while we are walking, or stuck in traffic, or doing the dishes.  All but the final one are in Spanish. Gato Encerrado  -- Currently my favorite Salvadoran podcast, the investigative journalists at Gato Encerrado upload a new episode each week on current events and their recent investigations. Disruptiva  -- This podcast from Francisco Gavidia University covers a single subject of public interest per episode.  Currently publishing a new episode every one or two weeks. La Tribu FM  -- The news and information talk show of Pencho Duque is available in podcast format.  Pencho frequently has interesting guests sharing their perspectives. YSUCA Noticias  -- The news broadcasts and editorials of YSUCA, the radio station of the University of Central America are available in podcast format.   It can be a little annoying t

Who's been coming to El Salvador?

The decision of Nayib Bukele to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador and to link his country's future to the crypto-currency has been followed in 2022 by visits to the country by a cast of interesting characters. For example, living in El Salvador since January have been Bitcoin hyper-promoters and investors Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert .  They've even announced that they are becoming Salvadoran citizens to be part of this first Bitcoin nation. On their arrival in January, they were flown in a military helicopter to see the site of the proposed Bitcoin City in La Union department.   The use of taxpayer funds to fly around wealthy investors was decried by many. Heading to BITCOIN CITY 🌋👍 @Excellion @stacyherbert @nayibbukele — MAX 🇸🇻 (@maxkeiser) January 8, 2022 The pair, who have heaped praise on Bukele for his supposed wisdom and foresightedness, endorse every move he makes on Bitcoin and just announced they will launch a venture capi

Update -- Valle El Angel MegaProject

Today I am sharing an update on the "Valle El Ángel" commercial/residential mega-development on the outskirts of San Salvador. The development is a project of real estate developer Urbánica . The owners of Urbánica are the ultra-wealthy Dueñas family in El Salvador, and their proposed development of 8000 houses, shopping centers, churches and more would threaten the available water resources in the capital region, according to environmental and community groups. Most of the land, located along the Pan American highway northeast of San Salvador, is currently used to grow sugar cane. The development has been opposed for years by a coalition of groups with a special concern about the impact on the important aquifer which lies beneath this zone. I described the project and the environmental concerns in a long piece here in 2019.   Despite the years of struggle against the project by advocates, under the current administration in El Salvador, it now appears likely that developme