Below is a list of things that are different between El Salvador and the US:
1. Don’t flush the toilet paper. Throw it away. The septic system can’t handle it.
2. Water not good to drink. Must drink bottled/pure water. This means closing your mouth while showering and brushing your teeth with clean water. One of the leading causes of death in children is sickness related to drinking the water.
3. Often no running water and little hot water. Be grateful for the water you have.
4. Don’t drink the juice or milk out of bags, it may make you sick (Lynn- that includes any and all juices given to you by priests)
5. Rarely any air conditioning.
6. Seat belts are often not in use. Use them when in a big town or you see police.
7. Crazy driving in El Salvador. Don’t get in the way.
8. You can pull off the highway to take pictures, buy food, buy car parts, pick people up, etc.
9. Dogs, cows, roosters roam the street. Slow down but keep moving.
10. There are a lot of guns- police, guards, civilians. Also many machetes.
11. Many guards, police carrying machine guns.
12. Can’t take pictures in airports. Why? When the guard with a machine gun asks you not to take a picture you don’t ask why.
13. Coca-cola light (instead of diet), pop in bottles (not plastic)
14. Metric system, Celsius. US- get with the rest of the world!
15. People speak little to no English. This isn’t a Mexican resort.
16. Pickups full of people. It’s a common mode of transportation.
17. Fresh fruit, fresh bread, fresh vegetables, fresh everything.
18. All clothes and dishes are hand washed and air dried.
19. Speed bumps (túmulos) on the road are very common
20. Garbage tends to line the roads; Some people burn their trash, sometimes in the road
21. Advertisements painted on walls along the highway. No billboard needed.
22. Political colors painted on electricity poles, trees, rocks: PCN, FMLN, ARENA
23. Bottom of trees are painted white. Mily said this is to make them look nice.
24. Roads may be made of cement, brick, stone, dirt, other
25. Different concept of time; Salvadoran time not gringo time
26. Bigger plants: poinsettia, croton, bougainvillea, hibiscus
27. Fútbol is everywhere; football doesn’t exist
28. People sometimes drop the letter at the end of certain words when they’re speaking
29. Caliche: Salvadoran slang
30. People are sincere and very thankful; when they ask how you’re doing, they really want to know.
Photo Examples of the Differences
#18 Hand washed and air dried
#13 Coke in bottles
#9 Cows in the road
#7 Crazy driving
#16 Pickups full of people
#17 Fresh food
#26 Bigger plants- poinsettia
#22 Political colors
#24 Road made of stone and grass
#8 Pull of the highway to get food
#30 Sincerity of people here
#1 Don't flush the toilet paper
#20 Lots of garbage
#23 Bottoms of trees painted white
#2 Don't drink the water
#3 Be grateful for the water you have