Vaca en Quebrada / Cow in Creek – rural El Salvador, Oct 2006, Jen Bauer
Como Manejar El Ministerio de Salud en El Salvador.
This is an instructive article on how to deal with the Ministry of Health in El Salvador.
I’ll start with a definition of “Gallinaza” (pronounced guy-ee-nah-sah). Every Salvadoran knows what it is, but gringos will know it best as Chicken Sh*t. OK, so in the rural areas of El Salvador, near farms, you see a lot of flies. This happens when one lives near livestock, farmers and agricultural people are accustomed to it.
There are certain seasons and times of year when the “fly problem” is worse than others, depending on heat and other conditions. BUT – there are other times when an acute and painful infestation will take place. This is often a result of farmers or ranchers “tirando Gallinaza” – discarding the crap on the side of the road secretly, in the dark of the night, or using it as fertilizer on their land, out in plain view, for everyone to see.
Our story focuses on the use of Gallinaza as fertilizer. There’s a family of cattle ranchers who live close to my husband’s neighborhood in Rural Chalatenango (Chalate). Ironically, but not surprisingly, they are related to the infamous “medio millon,” a notorious narcotrafficker and general malevolent person (persona malisia) who was trouble even in his youth. (Yes, Medio Millon grew up in my husband’s neighborhood and my husband has some colorful stories about him). But anyway, let’s get back to my story.
These brothers own HUUUUGE tracts of land – we’re talking ridiculous in size – that they ranch on. Some of this land was acquired during the epoch of President Duarte, who was more of a socialist style president. He essentially gave land that was not in use by various rich owners, some of them high up military members who did not use it – to local people, for agricultural use. This is how my father in law got his ‘parcela’ and how these ranchers got most of their land, indirectly (the story of how they actually got their land is also colorful, but I won’t post it here. ‘Nuff said ’bout them in this article alone). Their ranch is SO big, my husband says, that 5 or more adult cows die every day there of natural causes, and about 10-15 calves (chibos) also die. This gives you an idea how much cattle they have.
To grow hay better, they fertilize land with Gallinaza, since its cheaper than fertilizer – and who knows, maybe works better. My husband says its about gluttony, that rich people always have to have more – and likens it to a very drunk man taking yet another shot of alcohol, when he least needs it.
My in-laws neighborhood is a little ways down the road from the ranch, on the other side of the river, and let me tell you – when they throw that chicken sh*t down, its like the seven plagues of Egypt – you’ve never seen so many flies in your life. For a gringa from a happy middle class upbringing, it’s grossifying. So I said to my husband, if they live down the road, what’s it like for the people who live close by?!
And those neighbors began to complain. So, El Ministerio de Salud came out to check on the situation, and paid the ranch a visit.
My husband spoke with some of the ‘corraleros’ – farm hands on the ranch – on his recent visit to El Salvador last month. According to them, this is how things went: officials from the ministry of health arrived, and a steer was slaughtered immediately. The brothers had it roasted and put together a nice welcome lunch for their visitors. They enjoyed this wonderful meal, and as a going away gift, were given a live steer to take back home with them. What nice guys these ranchers are!
So that’s how the Gallinaza problem was ‘taken care of’. A friendly visit, delicious lunch, and a handshake.
In El Salvador I was spoiled with all the radio stations playing Latino music. Just like American radio, they run the spectrum from top 40 style like in the U.S., to oldies, Christian, and public radio. Talk radio does not seem as pervasive, but maybe that’s a good thing (no Rush Limbaugh).
Radio “La Mejor 98.9” is a top hits station, you can get all the playola you want there with songs like “Corre!” by Jesse & Joy, repeated frequently throughout the day (I still like it despite the overplay). If you want to hear American music, there’s a couple stations with English language songs. I can’t remember the number, but one station in the “90s” numbers plays Metal Rock – it’s good.
I loved Radio Fiesta, 104.9, with its older dance-able hits of Salsa, Merengue, and Cumbia. I would tune in nights and dance in the kitchen to cumbia while cooking, in my ginas (sandals), my husband laughing at me. 106.5 plays Ranchera and similar genres (Radio Ranchera), like Vicente Fernandez. One thing that would always make me giggle was hearing an “American” song start to play, then suddenly hearing it sung entirely in Spanish, often with lyrics of a different meaning.
I found Radio UCA (Universidad Centroamericana), 91.7 similar to National Public Radio, but with religious overtones. I know it sounds weird, but a blanket of religious sentiment snows on everything in El Salvador, you get used to it. Radio Nacional is the official public station of El Salvador, also good. I need my fill of left-wing babble even if it’s only a murmur in the background – has a soothing effect, like womb sounds do to a newborn.
|My FAVORITE time to listen to radio in El Salvador is on weekends.Radio UCA and Radio Nacional both have music shows playing oldies style Latin hits including Boleros, old Ranchera, old Salsa Vieja like estilo Cubano, Cumbias, Mambo, Cha-Cha-Cha, the whole gambit.
Here is a video sample of the programming, sampled from Radio Nacional 96.9.
We live in a major metropolitan area, but there are almost no Spanish language stations. You’d think there would be several, yet so far I’ve found one AM station. So we went to the internet. My husband used to listen to “Radio Chevre” streaming live. We looked for it and found something better – a site with (almost) every station that streams live from El Salvador!! So…
LISTEN to LIVE RADIO from EL SALVADOR
ESCUCHA RADIO VIVO de El Salvador! – Haz un click
I used to hear great Salsa vieja on Radio La Klave in El Salvador. Then it became radio Guazapa, but the station still exists. La Klave does not appear on the website above, so go to the link below. ( I’m listening to La Klave right now, it’s 11:25am in El Salvador, and they’re playing a Cuban style Salsa Vieja tune !! )
Listen to Radio La Klave here – http://myradiostream.com/laklave
Escucha radio La KLAVE en vivo de El Salvador
Para escuchar radio en vivo de El Salvador, por el internet, sintoniza a emisoras Salvadoreñas aca:
ESCUCHA RADIO VIVO de El Salvador!
( Radio UCA 91.7, Radio Fiesta 104.9, Radio Ranchera 106.5, Radio La Mejor 98.9, y mas )
—- —- —- —- —- —- —- —- —-
Para Radio LA KLAVE, haz un click por aca — La Klave
If you live in South Florida and like Spanish language and Latino music, you’re in luck. If you live in New England, like we do, you’ll find…. one AM radio station. So we reached out to the internet. We found a website with (almost) every station that streams live from El Salvador!!
LISTEN TO LIVE RADIO from EL SALVADOR
They have Radio UCA 91.7, Radio Fiesta 104.9, Radio Ranchera 106.5, Radio La Mejor 98.9, etc.
La Klave does not appear on that website, so go to http://myradiostream.com/laklave to hear them. I used to hear great Salsa vieja on Radio La Klave in El Salvador.
Listen to Radio La Klave here