Downtown hasn’t really changed that much. I had heard of successive governments trying to get street vendors off the streets, but if anything there are a lot more of them than there used to be. One difference is that some of them used to sell pirated music cassettes. Now there are huge numbers of them selling pirated CDs and movie DVDs. Also, lost of cell phones, account recharges (air time) and parts and accessories.
If anything, the buildings down there seem even seedier than they used to be, with the exception of the cathedral, which has been restored and looks great. The streets, as always, are alive, bursting with people.
Also, my Salvadoran Spanish—or my ear—is getting better. The woman down the block may have said “un corter,” but most of the vendors hawking their wares downtown said “cora.” I seven saw a sign that something cost just “1 cora (25 centavos de dólar).” Lots of things are sold in coras. DVDs of movies tend to be priced at “dos coras”—or 50 cents).
Which leads to something else—some things are really cheap here. Not gasoline, over $4 a gallon, but bus rides are .20 or .25 and restaurant food (at least as long as I stick to the places I like and stay away from the hotel restaurant) ranges from cheap to very reasonable.
Anyway, here are some images of downtown…