I was finally able to get “Abate” – pronounced “ah-bah-tay” – a couple days ago at the health center on main street this week. I stopped there just before New Years and they said they had some, but the people with keys were out that week and to come back next week. Abate is a funny smelling powder that comes in small bags, which you poke holes in with a pen or small sharp object, and stick in the pila (washing basin) to keep the mosquito larvae from growing. The name comes from an actual name brand for a larvicide; the name is used as commonly in El Salvador as the word “Band-Aid” is for small bandages in the States. Although abate is almost a necessity in El Salvador for protection against mosquitoes (“Zancudos”) the local health centers often run out of it and I do not know anywhere you can buy it. The alternative is to clean out the pila 1-2 times a week, and wash its walls well with bleach. Works for the pila, but for the cisterna (large cement reserve water tank) that’s as tall as me…not sure I want to empty that out every week and wash it down with bleach. I recall stopping by the health center in San Jicinto last year and asking if they had abate. One woman directed me upstairs to a room, where another woman directed me to speak to a man there. He said “We don’t have any here, but I do happen to have some at my house. You can call me at this number (he wrote down his cell number) and I’ll bring some to the center for you.” Not sure where he wanted to go with that, but I decided not to call him for more than one reason. The gentleman this past week gave me 16 bags total, enough to dump several in the Cisterna and 1 or 2 in the pila. Said it will last for 2 months.