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El Salvador- advice/contacts

Hi. I’ll be in El Salvador this September to photograph a piece on youth violence for a non-profit. I’d like to stay for a few weeks/month after I’m finished to continue the project for myself but I’m on an extremely tight budget…if anyone has advice on inexpensive places to crash or contacts for local journalists I’d be grateful…basically any advice is welcome as I’ve never been there.



by Lauren Lancaster at 2007-07-27 19:01:30 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) new york , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Hi Lauren

I’ll tell you what I tell all who go to ES. Be carfeull. The people are wonderfulll but it’s also a very voilent place.

I will get yuo the contacts form several good guys in ES on the next messsage.


by Tomas Stargardter | 27 Jul 2007 23:07 | Managua, Nicaragua | | Report spam→
Tomas is very right. You must be very careful in Salvador, especially in the urban slums, where you will probably want to be if (I assume by youth violence, you will want to work with maras.) You must have contacts to work in gang neighborhoods, or they will rob you, or worse quite honestly. Be very cautious, Salvador looks like a pretty friendly place, and in most ways it is, but extreme violence jumps out of nowhere fast with very little warning. Every time I go to Salvador, someone close to my project gets killed. Every time. Pobre pais que sufre violencia tan grave por muchisimos años…
As for a place to stay, try Ximena’s guest house house in Colonia Centro America (San Salvador) It’s very centraly located. There are a few other places in that area. Take care, and don’t amble around at night, seriously
good luck

by [former member] | 03 Aug 2007 08:08 | Berkeley, United States | | Report spam→
Lauren, Tomas and Eros are both right. Keep your wits about you. At the same time, I lived in El Salvador for three years and I’m still kicking.

Ximena’s is very cheap and mostly clean. You’ll meet lots of travelers there. The owner is a journalist and has lived in ES for a dozen years.

Be very careful about flashing your camera around in the tough parts of San Salvador if you want to continue to possess it. Send me a private message and tell me more about your trip and I’ll help you find people to get in touch with.

by Laurie Mc Ginley | 03 Aug 2007 21:08 | Saint Paul, MN, United States | | Report spam→
Quihubole Lauren!
All previous notes on the country are right. Although there are areas, which are more dangerous than others, you still have to be careful, specially carrying photo equipment. In some areas you wont see the “mareros” roaming the streets that does not mean that they are not there. Now they have change in the way they work and look, that is in appearance, many now don’t tattoo themselves on the arms or faces as much, or wear “gangster clothe” they look like any other regular citizen, in some cases their cliques ask them to wear regular clothe. The violence has risen in the country to the point that recently El Salvador was the ranked the most dangerous country in Latin America, the government statistics don’t show it but there has been months where more people have died here that in Iraq, believe it or not. Do not mean to scare you to the point that you might think that the country is so bad that the moment you stop onto the street something bad will happen to you, but it is in a fragile state. And to tell you the truth is getting worse everyday not only with the violence, but also with the high prices, low wages and the limitation of civil liberties. They have just tighten the “Anti-terrorist” law to the point where who ever dares to protest and block any street, government office, health institution, etc…will be given 7-10 years of prison (which is bullshit) just for excising their right to protest. These and other things are making El Salvador a very intense place and on its way to a new rising of its people and conflict. I hope not but it looks inevitable if things continue the way they are. Well, I am living here for now, contact me if you need anything and I will ask around about a place in the capital (which I thing you might want to live). Send me a private message to give me more details about how long you will be here, etc… Salu! Y Bienvenida a Cuzcatlan!!!

by Juan Carlos | 03 Aug 2007 21:08 | Chalchuapa, El Salvador | | Report spam→

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Lauren Lancaster, Photographer Lauren Lancaster
New York , United States
Tomas Stargardter, Photojournalist Tomas Stargardter
(Photo Editor at LA PRENSA)
Managua , Nicaragua ( MGA )
Laurie Mc Ginley, Photographer / Web Design Laurie Mc Ginley
Photographer / Web Design
Minneapolis , United States ( MSP )
Juan Carlos, Photographer-Fotografo Juan Carlos
San Salvador , El Salvador ( SAL )


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