Pictured here is a receipt from Pollo Robero, as I like to call them, tongue in cheek.
I must admit it is damn good tasting chicken. But I try limiting purchases to either a) special occasions, like this visit to the in-laws to treat them to something nice, or b) there’s nothing else to eat and I’m starvin’.
As an American and person of privileged means in El Salvador, I find it distasteful, pun intended, that numerous fast food and restaurant chains set up shop here and charge nearly the SAME prices as in the U.S.
I do my best to near BOYCOTT them, and here’s why:
1) Food purchased here (chicken, beef, etc.) should be obviously cheaper. If BK is shipping patties here from the U.S. I’ll eat my hat.
2) Labor is R-I-D-C-U-L-O-U-S-L-Y cheap here: $6 a DAY. That’s not a typo. But let’s be generous and say they pay a whopping $7 or $8 a day.
So when I walk up to the counter of a BK, Wendys, Pollo Campero (originated in El Salvador btw), or other international joint, and see the SAME PRICES as I would in the U.S., its enough to make my stomach turn.
Yes, they are providing ‘jobs’ in El Salvador, but are we really beholden to them? I don’t see what grand favor they are doing for the people of El Salvador by paying workers an El Salvador minimum-wage while pocketing the American-priced profits.
You wanna help the Salvadoran People? AVOID American or International Chains whenEVER possible. I know this is hard, especially when traveling and missing “foods from home.” But resist.
Listed below are Alternative Safe Food Options for Where to Eat in El Salvador, that actually help the People HERE, who could really use your money, not the big fat restaurant chain:
– Pupusa Stands
– Small Restaurants that are obviously “local”
– French Fry, Plaintain or Yucca chip stands
– Atol “chucho” stands ( a corn drink made from purple maize – yummy)
– I’ll add more to the list as they come along….
Fruit sold in its own “package” like Oranges, Bananas, Pineapple, Papaya, etc. is safe, once you wash it or peel it.
We went to the market in Aguilares today, my husband and I, to buy raw cacao beans and spices for family members I plan to visit soon.
At the first stall, we were a bit surprised at the price of the cacao beans – $2.50 a pound. Not even a year ago they were $1.50 a pound. I opted to hear the same price repeated to me at a second vendor stall before buying at the now 40 percent increase in price. Inflation happens here in a more obvious way — Salvadoran red “silk” (seda) beans have recently risen atrociously from 50 or 60 cents a pound to $1.25 a pound. Chicken was 1.25 about 6 months ago – also now also increased, to 1.35-1.50 a lb. You know when beans cost almost as much as chicken by the pound the “Pueblo Salvadoreno” – Salvadoran people are indeed, in trouble.
My husband told me after we left the second vendor stall, “This is why I don’t like to go with you to these places – let’s forget it and go back to the car.” He was sure everyone charged us more because of the case of…
“La Cara Gringa” / ” The Gringo Face”
Woops. All I have to do is stand next to you and it’s the “curse of the cara gringa” – my face is the hidden tariff that sends prices racing to the clouds. But we know, at least, when it comes to beans, that’s already sky high. $1.25 and rising, without even a gringo face around!
Spent the morning with my husband’s mother and learned something new about her. We were talking about making new seat cushion covers for the chairs, as she just finished a waist-apron (called an delantal) made out of remnants of Christmas tablecloths. It was neat the way it turned out, with one type of fabric for the main apron, and a different one she used for the “pockets part.” – Wednesday, January 13, 2010.
Christmas apron (delantal) Irene made herself
A delantal is simply an apron. Women are seen wearing them anywhere and everywhere in El Salvador. When driving through the country or city, you’ll see women sporting their aprons in markets, pupuserias, restaurants, french fry or other food stands, and on sidewalks as they sell various goods. Sometimes women wear a delantal when not working, instead of carrying a purse.
The delantal most commonly seen is a waist-level apron that runs partway to the knees, is usually white (or light) with lots of lacey or ribbon fringe on it as decoration. The utility of the delantal is its multiple pockets, to hold coins, paper money, and small items while a woman works in or outside of the home.
Almost all women sport a delantal, regardless of their age, and sometimes in unexpected places.
On a visit to Panchimalco, I commented to my friend that a lot of old ladies were walking up the street with their aprons on. “Oh, they’re coming out of church,” she said. “With an delantal?,” I asked. She explained that in the country its common custom for older women go to church dressed that way during the week, so as not to change clothes in the middle of the day.
Here are some photos I found from others that show well what women look like wearing a ‘delantal’.
Nice shot, restricted on flickr, so click this link: Mercado Central by hurtadoc777
Photo by Lon and Queta on Flickr
I love these guys! Don’t know their name, but these spiders have a hard spotted shell with two distinctive points or ‘horns’ so I just call them horny spiders. Environment = high elevation in El Salvador (3,000 ft), and seen during rainy season.
See more at the Wonderful World of Insects in El Salvador Photo Gallery.