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Karen Visits El Salvador

Karen Visits El Salvador

December 18, 2023

(Note: I write these blogs monthly and record my travels to help provide my clients with a little insight and inspiration! My aim is to review establishments, big and small, from the perspective of my unique client base. That is, I assess things like cost, value, accessibility, LGBTQ-friendliness, and of course, whether it’s worth a visit in my humble opinion. Enjoy!)


This November, I had the pleasure of visiting my husband’s family in El Salvador. This was my first trip to his hometown! We were there to visit his late father’s grave for Dia de los Muertos. This is a national holiday where families celebrate and honor their loved ones who have passed.

While I was enjoying some time with my husband and his family, I was also working… working to investigate if El Salvador was a suitable place for either remote employment or to retire. Below are my general thoughts, followed by Google Reviews of a few places I visited. You’ll find a map and some photos HERE:

  • El Salvador is a beautiful country, known as the Land of Volcanoes, because, well, it has many volcanoes, some of which are monitored for frequent activity. They are also prone to earthquakes. Want some additional fun facts? Check out this National Geographic Kids page.
  • The country and its current president are making significant strides in curbing gang violence, improving the standard of living for its population, and making it a tourist destination.
  • Both electricity and city water can be unreliable. I think this will very much depend on where exactly you’re staying. Some areas are more built up than others, but generally speaking, El Salvador is an emerging market/economy.
  • For this reason, the cost of living can be very affordable, all depending on the standard of living.
  • Infrastructure is currently under heavy construction. Roads are being created and widened, hospitals are being updated and a brand-new airport was built in recent years (it’s quite modern!)
  • In terms of sightseeing, opportunities are endless. This country is rich in history and natural resources. The beaches there are on the Pacific Ocean, and they are gorgeous. If relaxation is what you’re looking for, you’ll find it here.
  • In terms of currency, you’ll find that they use the US dollar. They’re also the first nation to officially make Bitcoin a national currency and legal tender. We’ll have to see how this plays out, since that only happened in 2021 and since then bitcoin has lost a lot of value.
  • It was my experience that most of the country only speaks Spanish. Though you may find some English-speaking locals at tourist locations, especially if they’re young.
  • One item of note is that I didn’t notice a whole lot of diversity in terms of African Americans or Asians, and I don’t recall seeing a single place that was outwardly LGBTQ-friendly. Members of these communities might find themselves uncomfortable or with a general feeling of not fitting in. Again, this could be because I didn’t spend much time in the capital city, but it’s important to note.
  • Lastly, and not at all surprisingly, I found everyone in El Salvador to be warm and welcoming. What they lack in wealth, they more than make up in for in graciousness
  • This was only the tip of the iceberg, but in summary: I very much enjoyed my time in El Salvador and I’m looking forward to returning. That said, I didn’t find it easy to work remotely, nor did I find this to be a typical hot spot for retiring abroad. It’s different if you are from the area originally, otherwise, you may miss many of the comforts of home.

 

Reviews of Tourist Destinations:

Sunset by Yessenia: the perfect place to spend a day at the beach. The food was fresh, included some amenities like a gorgeous outdoor pool and the staff was attentive. Details HERE.

Tazumal Archaeological Park: This may have been my favorite of my visit because I love historical places. This is what’s pictured above, the remains of a Mayan city/temple. Details HERE:

Los Balcones: This was a restaurant within a Choice Hotel right outside of the airport. It did not disappoint. Details HERE.

 

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