Microcredit in El Salvador

The Strike and the Vacation

Día 40, 9/10/2010

We´ve had a really busy end of the week. A lot is going on, including a few new programs, and today an Italian and Nicaraguan guy showed up to start a social impact audit for MicrofinanceRating. We´ve also had on and off power, some intense rainstorms, and gangs threatening to attack buses make things interesting.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11255138

The strike has actually been a really big deal, as many people depend on buses and pica´s (pick-ups) to get to work. I spent a lot of time driving to meetings the last few days, and it was incredible to see so many people walking or crowding way too many bodies into every last taxi or truck offering a ride.

Due to the gang threats, there´s a ton of policemen and army personel on every corner within Gotera, and roadblocks every few miles. At times over the last few days, El Salvador has felt like a police state. At the same time, I´m pretty far away from the action in the mountains of Morazán, and all of the extra security makes me feel secure.

Tomorrow morning, I´m taking a 10-hr bus to Nicaragua to meet up with other Kiva Fellows working in Central America and share stories. We´re all more or less half way done with our fellowships, and it will be fun to take a break. The timing of the trip is probably precipitous, and I´m very interested to see what El Salvador and Gotera feel like when we get back.

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