By: Tim Notier
Some of Marisa's old students asked her, “Why would you go to the country I fled?"
These kids’ lives have been put through so much terror and abuse that they made a long journey to escape the inhumanity of their homeland, and hoped for a better future in... Arkansas(?). Marisa was able to bond with them, and play an important role in their lives when they sometimes had no family in the States to turn to for support or attention, and she took their stories to heart.
Back to El Salvador: Our first attraction on our list were the ruins of Tazumal, a Mayan archeological site. Marisa and I like our ruins, so we knew we would be visiting them even if they were not as grand as some of the structures we have seen in our travels so far. The site was not large, and only took ten minutes to completely navigate, and sadly it represented more of a concrete shell that was poured over the original structure, but it was a nice visit none-the-less.
While in the capital, San Salvador, we stayed in a cheap hotel and were treated like kings. If you used your imagination, you could see how grand the small hotel was in its heyday, but that was far in the past. Out of the twelve or so rooms they had available, we were their only guests for the two days we spent relaxing in the pool.
You could see that this was a country trying to find its place in the modern world. We by no means rode very far into the back roads, and we did not visit any beaches or volcanoes (what El Salvador is famous for). So though we cannot give a proper full report on the country as a whole, it was pleasant, and a mandatory pass through destination.
It's strange because in Guatemala the locals would warn us about El Salvador, we would inevitably survive, then be warned by the El Salvadorans about Honduras. This chain of “warnings" started way back in the United States, and has not stopped as of yet. The reality of it all is unfortunately tainted by people’s fears and lack of actual experience in any given place. But we would continue fearlessly, mostly because there was no other option, and sometimes with a little fear.
Honduras translates to “depths" and sadly, we did not ride into the honduras of Honduras. We kept to the main roads and made our way to the boarder of Nicaragua in a speedy fashion. The promise of a safer environment, nature, and sloths was calling me to enter and explore.
Both El Salvador and Honduras were not as scary as we assumed, and as an afterthought, I am slightly upset that we did not explore more into some of their offerings.