El Salvador Week 4

Another week in paradise! I am truly amazed on how cordial the El Salvadorian people are, except when in comes to driving! We went back to Los Angeles to obtain more interviews and observe more latrines. I am finding that most of the households really do not have a clear understanding of the latrines or their maintenance. When asked when the last health promoter had come to see them most of them said they had never come. A flaw in the system. From the research that I have done and talking to other people who have done projects in rural communities it seems that a health promoter needs to come out regularly for the first year in order for the project to be successful. The other thing I have discovered is that it is better if the community pays a little for their sanitation systems. In contrast to what I believed when I first came into the program, that sanitation is a human right and should be given freely to all. The reality is people do not take responsibility for their latrines unless they can claim ownership. To claim ownership one must pay something even if it is pennies. I am finding that most of the solar latrines households would rather have compost. I will be visiting a compost community next week and it will be interesting to see their perception of the compost latrine is.
After leaving the community we had lunch at a local fish place serving up the best fried fish I have ever had. Very fresh, I even picked out my own fish to eat. I am really getting use to eating my fish with the head and tail intact. I am learning to eat like a El Salvadorian. The only thing that I have found that I do not like is Picaya It was very bitter and I could only take a couple of bites as much as I wanted to be brave and eat the whole thing.
This past weekend I went to Suchitoto which is a town about an hour from San Salvador. There were many crafts and I bought some goodies to take home to the family. Again we ate fish, I just can not get enough of it, overlooking a reservoir the result of a dam on the river.
Next week will be busy, finalizing my project, completing interviews and putting my feet in the Pacific. Until then……

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