Sunday, Jan 29, 2017 Acajutla El Salvador
Our tour today was set in the mountains where the temperatures are a bit more moderate. El Salvador is new to the tourist trade and this tour demonstrated a need for improvement. The group was too large for only one guide and the bus was so big it had trouble turning right or left on the narrow streets of the old colonial towns.
As we drove along the main highway, we noticed remnants of train tracks. There was an old narrow gauge engine at an intersection. El Salvador abandoned the railroad 25 years ago. The first town we visited was Nahuizalco where there was an in-home chocolate maker. The two women made a high cocoa content (80%) chocolate and sold it for 50 cents a chunk. Right next door was a 3-rail track model railroad village. Down the street was a demonstration of wicker basketry, a museum dedicated to the massacred indigenous people (~1930s) and then a church. Inside the church there is a memorial to the martyred Oscar Romeo, the Archbishop of El Salvador who was murdered at Mass a few decades ago for standing up for the people’s rights and preached against an oppressive government.
The next town, Ataco, is famous for its colorful outdoor wall murals. There were many locals enjoying a festive Sunday outing. We had hoped to visit a weaver, but there was no direction from the guide and most of the articles for sale were imported from China.
After returning to the ship at a very late hour, we did have a great dinner and then were entertained by a talented singer/performer in the Cabaret Lounge.