I recently booked tickets to El Salvador for a week in December. I’m going down for a cousin’s wedding. This will be my first time back since 1998 and I’m a little nervous.
Since the end of El Salvador’s civil war the situation in the country has steadily declined. The war was supposed to improve life for its people. Instead the country has become less economically stable and more violent. Now a country the size and population of Massachusetts has an average murder rate of 16 people per week. Over 2,000 people have already been killed this year alone.
My family is no stranger to this violence. A cousin of mine almost died when her husband went on a shooting spree, attacking her, killing their baby and himself. She recovered both mentally and physically but other family members were not so lucky. An uncle on the other side of the family witnessed his son’s murder when they were carjacked.
I hear a lot about how violent the country is. It always makes me ask if everything my parents did was in vain. They gave up so much to try and change things. Here we are 30 years later and it’s about the same if not worse. My family made it and are better off now, but what about everyone else?
Maybe it’s the violence or the state of the country, but the thought of going back “home” makes me uneasy. I don’t think anything bad is going to happen but I know this will not be like visiting Panama, which is much safer. My family has been asking me to come back and I never go. I feel bad sometimes but it’s tough when my immediate family is not living there anymore. Even though I’m nervous I think the trip will be good. It has been a long time coming and I can’t wait to see my family.