|After a couple days of driving through the incredible heat of coastal Guatemala we finally arrived in El Salvador. This is a country that we had heard about from it's violent civil war that ended more than ten years ago, and the fact that it has great surf. But other than that we knew very little about the country.
It was instantly obvious to us that even though the war was over, the guns had not gone away. It seemed that just about every store hotel etc (even Subway Sandwiches) had an armed guard. The hotel we chose had three or four. We must have gotten use to them because by the 5th or 6th day we weren't even noticing them anymore. I don't know if that's a good thing or not. But the people we met were great! Everyone was so friendly.
We stayed for 30+ days at one hotel, Casa De Mar at the surf break of El Sunzal- we recommend this place to any surfer. Here we became friends with the owner and the staff and some local people from the community. They made our stay very enjoyable- that and the fact that there were amazing waves just about every day!
The country has problems with poverty, pollution, and over population. Those factors and others have created a sometimes violent (by US standards)place, and we made sure that we were in the safety of our compound by dark. But with the few precautions that we took, we had a great time, caught great waves, and got to learn a lot about a culture and people who have faced many hardships.
Our only issues were a couple trips to the hospital- for 9 stitches in Marc's foot, plus some tropical illnesses that we both contracted. This is a place that we will return to, and our friend Cameron from LA had a blast here too!