The Numbers Keep Shifting


 3 4 days in

8 9 bus drivers assassinated

1.8 million San Salvadorans staying home from class, or hitching a ride to work, or walking miles

A bus strike has gripped San Salvador, some say crippled the city; not for wages, not for benefits, but because gangs want to send a message to the government to negotiate with them ( El Salvador bus drivers go on strike, or Bus Drivers Strike in El Salvador after Gang-Related Killings).

In a recent blog I shared the experience of riding a bus in San Salvador, Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable.  Little did I know that within a month that bus system would be the arena where gang violence would yet again flex its muscle and exert its power over the people and its government.  Owing to the population’s reliance on the bus system, I wondered how this is impacting everyday life there. My daughter, Hannah, has had to walk, group cab, and hitch a ride on a pickup truck to get to work.  Here is some of my conversation with my daughter yesterday:

Had soldiers on both my methods of transport today. It’s a little unnerving riding with soldiers. Feels like a warzone.

How do you know what pickup truck to jump on?

They spray paint on their windshields where they’re going.

Hannah's images

Hannah’s images












And the strength, creativity and resilience of a people, and my girl, are stretched again.

It might not last much longer.

The bus companies (may) decide to go back to work.

Ridiculously dangerous.

Yes and no. There’s been 85 bus drivers killed this year.

Strike or no strike.

18 17 days until my daughter returns to Canada.



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