El Salvador: Portraits

I am eager to share stories from El Salvador, where my husband and I just spent a week with our 11-month-old daughter. Yes, it is possible to travel abroad and enjoy a developing country with your baby in tow. I have stories and lessons to share, but first… the photos.

El Salvador has a per capita income of $3,370 if you can fathom that. What makes poverty picturesque? I don’t know. I ponder my attraction to developing nations, and why I keep returning. I will discuss my reasons in an upcoming post. For now, my husband helps me articulate it by saying, “it’s different.” I think one reason is because age shows; vulnerability shows; what we keep hidden here in the U.S. seems more visible in developing nations — literal and figurative dirty laundry. David was surprised to see a funeral home displaying caskets in an open-air salon in La Libertad.

Here I’ve collected portraits of the people I saw up close. Inside one market in Juayúa, I was commanded not to take photos. (This also happened at a local market in Mexico City, and it felt the same, like bullying and xenophobia, but it may be pride, rather than prejudice).

Please click the first image in the gallery to enlarge, then click the picture you see to advance to the next slide.

Please let me know what impressions these images stir up.

About MommyTheorist

Editor, writer, photographer, and new mom
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11 Responses to El Salvador: Portraits

  1. Lynda says:

    The photos are stunning. You captured the faces of real people living real lives. I’m not surprised some didn’t want their photos taken – they don’t live to be posted on FB like we do. I had the same experience when I wanted to take photos in one of the back alley neighborhood markets in San Miguel. The women in a huge tent-like room each making their dishes to sell one serving at a time or sitting behind bags of spices and chiles were images I could never see at home, but they weren’t having it. It’s their authenticity that’s appealing. Otherwise they’d be just like us, checking their makeup and posing for the camera.

    • Bill Diehl says:

      Michelle,
      Your photography is wonderful. You have captured the faces of people, young and
      old with incredible beauty, a haunting
      beauty. No one posing. I recall ten years
      ago when my wife and I went to Havana, Cuba.
      I managed to take a few photos, children
      especially…they always leave a lasting impression and you have done that so beautifully with the people of El Salvador.
      Great work!
      Bill Diehl

      • Ah, Cuba. I can’t wait to return. I only spent three nights in Havana, but would like to get back and also see the beaches and villages next time. One can dream! Thanks for reading, Bill.

    • You are right. True preservation means leaving an untouched village completely alone. It’s hard to resist the temptation, but what are the long-term consequences of our actions? It’s important to consider that groups of people in themselves are delicate ecosystems. I’m fascinated by the few remaining indigenous groups who haven’t been contacted.

  2. tracy says:

    Wonderful photos, Michelle. I spent much time in Latin America, but not El Salvador. It seems peaceful, but filled with vibrant colors. I LOVE that you were able to travel with your 11 month old daughter – inspiring!

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  5. One picture says a thousand words, this was a visual opus. Thanks for sharing!

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