Observations from the 2021 Elections

For the last several election seasons, I have been able to both observe the pre-election campaigns and the inner workings at polling sites on election day.  This year, due to the pandemic, my observation experience was limited to what I could observe while driving around and what I could observe while following live streaming reports from other observers. Car Window with a View On February 27th, the day before the election, we took a drive around San Salvador to check out the set-up process for the voter information tents and polling sites.  We specifically headed to places we had visited prior to the 2019 election so we could do a comparison.   So, just a refresher:  Nayib Bukele was voted in as President of El Salvador in the 2019 election.  His party, Nuevas Ideas (New Ideas) was not allowed on the ballot because it was too new.  Bukele struck a deal with GANA and ran as the GANA candidate.  GANA, formerly covering the country with its orange and dark blue colors, took on the celest

We Have to Help the Girls

No one has been to the small cantones.  The girls out there have never received any kind of sex education. The Unidad de Salud is hearing about girls who are falling into pregnancy ... you know ... because of what we are going through ... this pandemic.                    Sonia Acknowledging the possible and probable increase in the number of sexual assaults and sexual abuse of young girls due to the pandemic is something done in safe spaces.  The Women's Project in the Los Héroes church provides such a safe space, and when Sonia talks about the team's work and the positive impact it has on girls' lives, she is on fire.   Statistics for 2020 have been compiled by the Ministry of Health and are being studied by women's rights groups.  It's hard to tell what the actual numbers of child and teen pregnancies are for 2020, but initial numbers are included in the graphic below.  12,781 registered pregnancies of girls between the ages of 10 and 19. Anecdotally, the local c

Just Click: We Don't Get Out Much

The third destination for this year's virtual tour of El Salvador is ... our car!   Due to the pandemic, we are mostly staying at home.  However, on Sundays, we do make the drive through San Salvador out to our church community a little bit north of the capital city so we can attend worship.  The number of cases of COVID-19 in that area is very low, so we feel pretty safe. In anticipation of another episode of Just Click, I snapped some photos during the drive home from church.  So, let's begin our virtual tour of the route on Troncal del Norte into the city of San Salvador. We begin on the road from Tonaca to Troncal del Norte. Notice the motorcycle with the purple Hugo backpack.  That is the Salvadoran version  of Instacart - you can now literally get anything delivered. The truck turning at the intersection is loaded with cut sugar cane. It looks like grass because it was cut raw rather than after the field had been set afire and the leaves burned off. Cutting raw cane is mu